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It’s spring cleaning season. Don’t forget your medicine cabinet

While you tackle some spring cleaning this season, be sure to go through your medicine cabinet to dispose of old and unneeded medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Take Back Day locations on Saturday, April 27.

Prescription bottles collected in a box in preparation for Take Back Day pill recycling.

Prescription medications ready to be recycled at a Take Back Day.


To help keep Michigan communities safe and healthy, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Campaign will take place at some 4,000 drop-off locations throughout the nation.

When it comes to unwanted medications – whether prescription or over-the-counter -- the DEA encourages people to “clean them out; keep them safe, and take them back.”

So, if you haven’t used them, don’t need them, or they’re expired, drop them off at a Take Back collection site near you. It’s free and anonymous.

The following prescription and over-the-counter drugs will be accepted:

  • Tablets.
  • Capsules.
  • Patches.
  • Other solid forms.
  • Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain tightly sealed in their original container. 
  • Vaping devices and cartridges, provided the lithium batteries are removed. 

Participating law enforcement agencies will not accept any of the following:

  • Medications from physicians, veterinarians, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or pharmacies and vapes from retailers will not be accepted.
  • Vitamin/supplements or personal care products, like hand sanitizers, shampoos, soaps, lotions, sunscreens, etc.
  • Needles/sharps or bio-hazardous materials containing blood and/or body fluids.
  • Recreational or prescribed marijuana or marijuana products.

This nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative seeks to prevent pill abuse and theft. Did you know? (Source: Drug Enforcement Administration)

  • Unused or expired prescription medications are a public-safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs are just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision.
  • The majority of those abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends, or the home medicine cabinet.
  • Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused, or illegally sold. They also can contaminate groundwater or soil. Unused drugs that are flushed can contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.

For more information regarding drug treatment and prevention, go to To find additional, year-round drop-off locations that accept other medications, supplements, needles/sharps, etc., go to and search EGLE’s Household Drug Take Back Web Map.  EGLE’s map is easy to use and available all year round.  Just enter your zip code in the upper left corner, and the map will zoom to your area to show nearby collections that you can click on to see what they accept. 

Physicians and pharmacists are also encouraged to help prevent abuse and accidental poisoning by sharing EGLE’s resources.  They’re readily available, free of charge, and found under the Household Drug Disposal heading on EGLE’s Drug Disposal Webpage.  Share the EGLE Classroom Drug Disposal Video or print EGLE’s Save a Life card available in English, Spanish, and Arabic, published with both Michigan Health and Hospital Association and Michigan Pharmacists Association, and endorsed by many!