Safely Dispose of Unused Medications During National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

A picture of prescription drugs for a post on national prescription drug takeback day by LCA.

Do you have old medication or unused prescriptions in your medicine cabinet? Clean them out this Saturday, April 30, and dispose of them safely from  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Here in Pennsylvania, an average of 14 people die of an overdose every day. That’s almost double the national overdose death rate. And for teenagers, the No. 1 source for those drugs is home medicine cabinets.

But safely disposing of old medications can be a challenge. They should never be flushed down the toilet. Wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove these compounds, leading to widespread contamination of water supplies.

A poster listing the times of national prescription drug take back day for a blog post by LCA.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible method to dispose of unneeded prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for their abuse. Just click here, then enter your zip code to find a collection site near you.

Can’t make it Saturday? Use one of the 23 secure, permanent prescription drug take-back boxes that have been installed across the county. View a map of the Lehigh County locations here, or click here to search for a location by zip code.

  • Place all pharmaceutical drugs in a sealed container such as the original bottle or zip-lock bag
  • Liquid pharmaceuticals should remain in the original container
  • Remove or mark out personal information
  • Prescription and over-the-counter solid medications
  • Tablets and capsules
  • Pet medicines 
  • Intravenous solutions
  •  Injectables, syringes, and needles (i.e., EpiPens); take these to a health care professional’s office or hospital for disposal
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Compressed cylinders or aerosols (e.g., asthma inhalers)
  • Iodine-containing medications
  • Thermometers
  •  Alcohol & illicit drugs (i.e., marijuana, heroin, LSD, etc.)

Looking for other options? The DEA website lists methods and locations for the disposal of medical sharps (needles), vaping devices, and more.