Managing unused, unwanted, and expired medications is a safety and environmental concern. While flushing opioids down the toilet may seem like a safe option, this can lead to pharmaceuticals being discharged into our surface water and groundwater. There are simple and safer alternatives, like take-back events and local disposal sites.
Protecting your family and your community is the number one reason to safely dispose of your medications.
- Every 10 minutes a child visits the emergency room for medication poisoning
- Three in five teens say prescription medication is easy to get from their parents’ medicine cabinet
- 12.5 million people ages 12 and older have misused opioids in the past year
How to safely dispose of opioids
You can make a positive difference for your loved ones and community by following these steps for opioid disposal:
- Find a year-round approved opioid collector near you with our interactive Opioid Disposal Map
- Find and attend a take-back event in your community
- Use your household trash only as a last resort:
- Mix opioids (do not crush) with used coffee grounds or kitty litter in a plastic bag and throw in household trash.
- Scratch out personal information on prescription labels and dispose of original medicine containers.
Our free, downloadable guide outline each step of the Medication Take Back Event planning process from start to finish, along with a timeline and sample budget
Permanent medication disposal boxes provide a safe and effective method for disposing of opioids and other medications to prevent misuse or diversion. This guide provides instructions on how to implement a disposal box, including financing, governance, education, and evaluation.
Unsure of the best way to dispose of your needles, lancets, or liquid opioids? Check out our handy stock-card with tips and resources.
Receive a Fully-Funded Medication Disposal Box
Michigan OPEN is offering an opportunity to implement permanent medication disposal boxes in Michigan communities to promote safe disposal of unused medications. These permanent disposal boxes will give communities a safe and accessible place to dispose of unused medications and help prevent potential misuse or accidental overdose.
To learn more about this opportunity and apply to OPEN’s grant program to fund a Sustainable Medication Disposal Box in your community, click here to view and download the application form.
Applications due July 1, 2022.