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How can I safely dispose of medications?

Updated: Mar 15

Take it to the box logo

"Take it to the Box" programs are initiatives that provide safe and convenient methods for individuals to dispose of unused or expired medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These programs aim to prevent the misuse, abuse, and environmental contamination associated with improper drug disposal.

Here's how you can typically participate in a "Take it to the Box" drug disposal program:

1. Locate a Drop-Off Location: Find a participating drop-off location near you. These locations are often found in pharmacies, police stations, hospitals, or other community centers. You can usually search online for the nearest drop-off site.

2. Gather Medications: Collect all the medications you want to dispose of, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and even pet medications. Keep them in their original containers if possible.

3. Prepare Medications: Removing or blacking out any personal information on prescription labels is generally recommended to protect your privacy.

4. Visit the Drop-Off Location: Take your medications to the designated drop-off location. Most sites have a secure, anonymous drop box or container where you can deposit your medications.

5. Deposit Medications: Place your medications in the drop box. It's important not to flush them down the toilet, as this can lead to water contamination, or throw them in the trash, where they can be retrieved and misused.

6. Follow Any Guidelines: Some programs may have specific guidelines or restrictions, such as not accepting sharps (needles) or liquids. Make sure to follow the instructions provided at the drop-off site.

By participating in "Take it to the Box" drug disposal programs, you help protect public health, reduce the risk of accidental poisonings, and prevent drugs from entering the environment through improper disposal methods.

Keep in mind that these programs may have variations in their procedures and accepted items, so it's a good idea to check with your local program or drop-off location for specific details on how to participate. Some communities also host periodic drug take-back events where you can safely dispose of medications.

Drop box locations for NYS HERE.

If your group or organization is interested in our no-cost programs for schools and workplaces, contact us at or call 716-827-9462.

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