What to do with Expired Pills and Medications

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, how can you safely dispose of them?

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.”

Community Howard will hold a medication drop-off event on 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.

Additional 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:

Community Cancer Center North - (7979 N Shadeland Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46250)

Community Cancer Center South - (1440 E County Line Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46227)

Community Hospital East - Main Entrance (1500 N. Ritter Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46219)

Community Hospital Anderson - Emergency Department Entrance with Police Department (1515 N. Madison Ave., Anderson, IN 46011) available 24/7 

What Medications are Accepted?

We will accept:

  • Prescriptions

  • Over the counter pills

  • Liquid medications

  • Vitamins

  • Pet medicine

We cannot accept:

  • Needles and sharps

  • Mercury (thermometers)

  • Chemotherapy/radioactive substances

  • Oxygen containers

  • Pressurized containers/inhalers

  • Illicit drugs 

Additional Information

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.

For more detailed instructions on proper medication disposal, search for a take-back location near you.