UPDATE: In place of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, the Department of Consumer Protection has rolled out local drug collection boxes. Current locations and more info can be found here or download a brochure
Local Disposal of Unused, Unwanted or Expired Medications
Without Endangering the Environment or Water Supplies
Ever wonder what to do with those left over pet medications? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) each year thousands of pets are accidentally poisoned when they eat human or pet prescription drugs, even ones prescribed for them.
So how do you get rid of them?
The recommendation used to be to flush them or put it in the trash. But there are growing concern over environmental contamination and safety issues.
Thank goodness for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day! On April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. a number of local police departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its sixth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
To encourage readers to take advantage of this service, I'm offering a free magnet pet frame to anyone who turns in left-over pet medications to participating agencies. (Just email your mailing address to DrMaryC@GentleGoodbye.org with the subject line, “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day”)
According to the DEA you can bring your prescription medications for disposal to the following sites:
The NY Department of Environmental Conservation offers a number of ongoing collection sites and events. The CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection web site also has collection sites but also suggests purchasing a medicine disposal envelope from chain pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid.
My advice: don’t risk it! Gather up those left overs and drop them off for safe and environmentally sound disposal.
Mary Craig, DVM, MBA
Dr Craig is a mobile veterinarian with a house call practice focused on end-of-life care.