Key Messages

Educational Programs

Access tools and presentations to help advocate safe prescription drug practices for the following groups.

Learn More

Our key messages for using medicines safely are quite simple:

  • Only use prescription medications as directed by a health professional.
  • Never share your prescription medications with others or use someone else’s prescription medications.
  • Always store your medications securely to prevent others from taking them, and properly dispose of medications that you no longer need.
  • Be a good example to those around you by modeling these safe medication-taking practices and discussing the dangers of misusing prescription drugs with your family, friends, colleagues, students, or patients.

How to Store Medications

When prescribed a prescription medication…

  • Store medications in secure locations such as:
    • Lock-boxes
    • Medication safes
    • Or other lockable spaces
  • Avoid storage places where children and others can easily access, such as:
    • Drawers
    • Nightstands
    • Or kitchen cabinets

How to Dispose of Medications

Once finished with a prescription medication, you have three options for disposal…
OneSafely dispose of medications (if no instructions are given) by placing them in a drug dropbox.

TwoTake advantage of community drug take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused medications to a central location for proper disposal.

ThreeNo dropbox or take back near you?  Dispose medications safely at home:

Step 1STEP 1:
Remove pills from bottle and mix them with undesirable substances
such as kitty litter or coffee grounds.

step2STEP 2:
Throw away the sealed mixture into the trash.

Step 3STEP 3:
Remove the prescription label and dispose of the empty bottle.

In addition, the FDA has posted guidelines regarding how to dispose of medicines you no longer need:

“How to Dispose of Unused Medicines” – FDA

Are you interested in hosting a medication take back event in your community? There are several things to consider when planning an event. Check out these medication disposal day guidelines which offers general guidance for pharmacists, community members and other health professionals. The guidelines cover logistical matters and other requirements involved in coordinating medication disposal events in your communities.

Medication Disposal Day Guidelines