Because of the widespread distribution of prescription medications for illicit purposes in Broward County, authorities have cracked down on the possession of these drugs by people not authorized to have them. This means that you could face charges even if you have leftover drugs in your possession for which you once had a valid prescription.
You have a responsibility to dispose of any leftover medication, but you have to do it correctly. Otherwise, it could fall into the wrong hands and get you into even more trouble. The Food and Drug Administration describes several options for getting rid of medication you no longer need safely, responsibly and in compliance with the law.
Drug take-back programs
The Drug Enforcement Agency schedules National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days approximately every six months. If your community has a take-back location available on this date, you can dispose of your unused medications there.
However, if it is still a long time until the next Take Back Day, your pharmacy may offer its own drug take-back program. Sometimes these operate through the mail or an on-site drop-off box.
Disposing of medicines in the trash
Most medications are safe to dispose of in your household trash. However, you need to prepare them first so that they do not attract the attention of vulnerable members of your household or people who may be rooting through your trash.
- Throw the container separately
- Put the drugs in a re-sealable container to prevent leaks
- Mix them up with something that disguises them and is unappealing, such as kitty litter or coffee grounds
Some medications are too dangerous to go in the garbage. If there is not a take-back program available, your only option is to flush them. If your medication is flushable, the label will inform you of this. Do not flush medications unless instructed to do so by your doctor, pharmacist, the drug’s manufacturer or the FDA.