Unused and easily accessible medicines have the potential to be misused and abused, particularly by teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prescription medicines most commonly abused by youth include pain relievers,tranquilizers, stimulants and depressants.

Properly storing and disposing of prescription medicines in your home is an important way to reduce the risk of their misuse and abuse by family members and others.

Prescription medications are meant to be used as directed by a doctor for the person they are prescribed to.

Proper Disposal:

According to the FDA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy developed federal guidelines that are summarized here:

  • Follow any specific disposal instructions on the prescription drug labeling or patient information that accompanies the medicine. Do not flush medicines down the sink or toilet.
  • Take advantage of community drug take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal.

TakeItToTheBox-logo-versions-v3-OLMissoula’s permanent prescription drug drop box:

Missoula Drop Box Photo

435 Ryman Street, Missoula, MT  59802


Drop off pills and/or pills in bottles. No liquids or syringes. This drop box is confidential, secure, and easy to use.

If no disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug labeling and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash following these steps.

  1. Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter (this makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs).
  2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
  • Before throwing out a medicine container, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
  • Do not give your medicine to friends. Doctors prescribe medicines based on a person’s specific symptoms and medical history. A medicine that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.

When in doubt about proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist.

Other Resources:





How clean is the water?    http://www.learnaboutrxsafety.org

Medication Toolkit for your family.    http://www.talkaboutrx.org

How to talk with your teen.    http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm101653.htm

Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinets

Prescription Drug Take Back on September 27th.

Clean out those medicine cabinets!  Prescription Drug Take Back is Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Southgate Mall.  10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  We can only accept pills and pills in bottles.  Please, no liquids.  No questions asked!  Contact us for more information.