Got Unused Medicines? Clean Out, Drive Over, Drop Off

NPR | April 24, 2013 10:13 a.m.

Contributed By:

Scott Hensley

What are you doing this weekend?

We were thinking about rustling through the medicine chests in our house to look for old prescription medicines. If we find any, and we’re pretty sure we will, then it’ll be off to a nearby county police station to dump them.

Sounds a little strange, we know. But this Saturday the Drug Enforcement Administration is coordinating a special day for people to turn in prescription drugs anonymously — no questions asked — at police stations and other locations around the country.

The idea is to take drugs that could be abused but aren’t needed anymore out of circulation. Disposing of medicines this way may also be a nice gesture for the environment.

If you’re interested and want to find the nearest drop-off site, you can search this website.

What’s DEA going to do with the stuff? Destroy it, a spokesman told us this morning.

What about the unopened, unused medicines that might still be OK for someone else? They’ll get trashed too. Those medicines can’t be represcribed — that would be like a restaurant reselling food left on someone’s plate, the spokesman explained.

There are some limits. No injectable drugs, I.V. medicines, or anything with needles will be accepted. And, the DEA says, “illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine” aren’t included either.

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