How to dispose of prescription drugs safelyBarry Smith2019-10-08T14:45:25-07:00
How to dispose of prescription drugs safely
Three ways to dispose of prescription drugs in Carson City
Our biannual Prescription Drug Round-ups make it so prescription drugs – including liquids and needles in sealed, hard containers – can be taken to a drop-off location, where we and the Carson City Sheriff’s Office will take them to a disposal site.Check the calendar here.
Year-round, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office at 911 E. Musser St. has a secure box inside the front entrance – open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday – where prescription drugs may be deposited (no liquids or needles, please).
3.Disposal kits are available from Partnership Carson City, 1925 N. Carson St., which may be used at home so prescription drugs can be placed safely in the trash. The kits also are available during our round-ups.
See more information below about how — and why — you should dispose safely of your prescription drugs
Follow the doctor’s directions
You're the one.
Medications should be taken only by the person to whom the medication was prescribed.
Only as directed.
Don’t take more than instructed by your doctor. It is important that you take your medicine at the dosage and time directed on the prescription.
Do not share.
Do not share or take someone else’s medication. Don't take medications for any purpose not prescribed by your doctor.
Ask the doctor.
If you have questions about your prescription, including whether non-opioid options are available, ask your doctor or other health care provider.
Out with the old.
Dispose of any medications that have passed their expiration date or that you no longer need.
Keep them safe.
Always keep medication in the original container. Secure your medicine cabinet.
Medicine left over from a doctor’s prescription can be abused or misused. Abuse of some prescription drugs has become a real problem in our community.
Hazardous to your health.
It can also be hazardous for you to use leftover drugs for something other than for the illness your doctor prescribed them in the first place.
Out of sight.
Keep medications out of sight of children and young adults. Return medication to a secure place after every use, so they don't fall into the wrong hands.
They're not candy.
Do not keep loose pills in containers or places where children and young adults can find them. Remember, small children may mistake loose pills for candy, and teens may seek out pills for recreational use.
Lock them up.
You may need a medicine safe, or a locked medicine cabinet to make sure powerful drugs don't get in the wrong hands.
Peace of mind.
A “medicine safe” may be purchased for as little as $20, or a locking wall-mounted cabinet costs around $200. They’ll not only deter thieves but give you peace of mind that children won’t accidentally get their hands on potentially dangerous medications.
Find out more below about how to get and use home disposal kits
Disposing safely at home
Pick up a kit.
During Partnership Carson City’s Drug Round-ups, usually offered in April and October, you can pick up a home-disposal kit at one of the locations around town. Keep an eye on our calendar of events for details, or contact Partnership Carson City to find out more.
The home-disposal kits ordinarily are provided free of charge by Partnership Carson City, as long as our supplies last.
Please don’t flush medications down the toilet or simply throw them in the trash. They can contaminate our water supply.
Follow the directions.
After you’ve obtained a home-disposal kit, follow the directions on the label for disposing of your prescription drugs. Two kinds of kits are usually available — Deterra and DisposeRx.
Watch one of the videos here on this page to learn how to use the home-disposal kits.
Dispose of syringes.
The Partnership Carson City Drug Round-ups are also capable of taking used sharps — syringes and needles — but they must be placed in a hard, sealed container before dropping them off.
If you’re unsure how to do it, watch the short video here on this page.
Do not place sharps in the trash.
Frequently asked questions
Can I donate unused drugs to some organization that could use them?
No, not if they’re a controlled substance. And even if they’re over-the-counter drugs, it can be a problem because the drugs might be mislabeled or out-of-date. It’s better to dispose of them safely.
Is it OK to flush old drugs down the toilet?
Please don’t. Medications flushed into the sewer or septic system may eventually get into Carson City’s water supply. That’s another reason for disposing of them properly, because we want to protect our drinking water. Not all municipal water treatment systems are able to filter out all kinds of drugs. Water tests in several cities have showed traces of prescription drugs.
These pills are expensive. Aren’t I just throwing away money?
You’re right. They are expensive. One thing you can do is ask your doctor to prescribe only as many pills as you need. It’s better to check with your doctor and refill a prescription than to buy too many in the first place. And because prescription drugs are expensive, they’re lucrative on the black market. Too many “extra” pills wind up in the hands of drug abusers.
How can I make sure my medicines don’t get stolen?
It’s awful to think that somebody who has access to your medicine cabinet may be swiping your pills, but it happens. Lock them up. A “medicine safe” may be purchased for as little as $20, or a locking wall-mounted cabinet costs around $200. They’ll not only deter thieves but give you peace of mind that children won’t accidentally get their hands on potentially dangerous medications.
Have the conversation
Have a conversation with family members, especially children and teens, about the dangers of taking prescription opioids.
Make it a rule in your family that medications always are kept in their original containers, and only the person to whom the medicine was prescribed will take it. Keep prescriptions in a secure location and dispose of them safely when no longer needed.
If your child or teen is prescribed a medicine, help prevent drug misuse by talking with them about how to use their medication safely, how to turn down invitations to misuse from others, and the importance of not sharing any unused medicines with others.
Finally, talk about the many positive ways we all can cope with the demands of life.