Pill bottles and pills

What to Do with Expired Pills

Do you have expired prescription pills causing clutter in your medicine cabinet? Maybe you’re hanging on to them simply because you’re not sure how to get rid of them. You may have heard that throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet is a bad idea. It’s true. If you don’t get rid of your prescriptions properly, they can get into the wrong hands or in our water supply. So, what to do?

Why safe medication disposal matters

Since 2014, more than 7,000 pounds of medication and associated medical waste have been collected through the safe medication disposal program at Community Howard Regional Health.

“Safe medication disposal helps keep Indiana families healthy,” explains Nino Kristie Voskuhl, RPh MHA, Director of Pharmacy at Community Howard Regional Health. “For one, it decreases the risk associated with old medications being available for accidental ingestion and poisoning.”

It also has long-reaching effects outside of the household by reducing dangers in the community. “Safe drop-offs reduce the possibility of theft or misuse of controlled substances. They also protect the environment from the effects of medical runoff in wastewater and at trash disposal sites,” Voskuhl continues.

Where to go for safe medication drop-off

“When we started offering medical waste disposal in 2007, there were no other readily available options,” says Voskuhl. “Today, we’re pleased that there are a number of opportunities in our community for safe disposal.”

In 2019, Community Howard will hold medication drop-off events on April 27 and October 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the circle drive at the Community Surgery Center, located at 3503 S. Reed Road in Kokomo. This program is for residentially generated waste from Howard County residents only.

More Drop-Off Locations

Can't make it to Kokomo? Visit one of these other Community drop-off locations in Indy on the same day and time:

What medications are accepted?

Participants can drop off over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, and pet medications in pills, liquids, ointments and lotions. All materials dropped off must be labeled to identify contents. Names can be crossed out to protect privacy. The drugs will be collected safely and processed according to Indiana law. No I.D. or signatures are required.

More information

For more detailed instructions on proper medication disposal, visit the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Unwanted Medicine page or search for a take-back location near you.