National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: Safely dispose of your expired and unused medication

October 06, 2021

Like many people, you may have expired and unused medications in your home. It’s important to safely dispose of these medications to help keep your friends and family safe. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 23, and a great time to clean out your cabinets. 

prescription drugs spilling out of a prescription bottleNational Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, while also raising awareness about the potential for abuse of medications. The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration.

Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.

Get a disposal kit at no charge to you

You can get a free disposal kit from OptumRx, administrator of the HealthSelectSM Prescription Drug Programs. OptumRx allows you to dispose of your unwanted medications safely and easily without risking them falling into the wrong hands. 

Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs. You can also take the following steps to safely discard expired or unused medication:

  • take the meds out of their bottles,
  • mix them with something unappealing like used kitty litter or coffee grounds and
  • seal them in a bag or disposable container, and throw that away.