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The right way to throw it away.

Proper disposal of unused or unwanted prescription drugs is a key weapon in the fight against misuse. By making these drugs less available, we can reduce prescription drug abuse. But it's important to dispose of them in a way that is both responsible and environmentally sound.

Permanent Disposal Sites/Boxes - Many law enforcement agencies in Michigan collect controlled and non-controlled substances for free. Contact your local law enforcement agency for sites in your community.

Yellow Jug Old Drugs

The Yellow Jug Old Drugs program partners with pharmacies in many communities in Michigan to collect unused or unwanted and expired drugs. A list of participating pharmacies can be found at greatlakescleanwater.org. The Yellow Jug Old Drugs program can accept unused/unwanted and expired drugs except for controlled substances. If your pharmacy does not yet participate in the Yellow Jug Old Drugs program, encourage them to do so.

The Yellow Jug Old Drugs program is now available statewide in Michigan.

Do Not Flush Medications

Unless the directions say otherwise, do NOT flush medications down the drain or toilet, because chemicals can pollute the water supply. Remove any personal, identifiable information from Rx bottles or packages before you throw them away.

Mix Drugs with Undesirable Substances

Mix prescription drugs with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter, to make them unappealing and harder to retrieve. Putting the drugs in durable or sturdy, non-descript containers, such as empty cans or sealable bags, will further ensure the drugs are not found and misused.

Where to Dispose of Drugs

According to federal guidelines, controlled substances can only be returned to law enforcement authorities. A growing number of law enforcement departments collect controlled substances. A list of disposal sites for controlled and non-controlled substances can be found here. If your local law enforcement does not yet collect controlled substances, encourage them to do so.