Medicines

Pollute our Waters when Flushed

Unused MedicationsShould NOT Be Flushed

Water Treatment Facilities Can Not filter out all of the dissolved medications.

If you put medicines such as prescription pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications (antibiotics, antidepressants, vitamins, cough syrup, or pain medications) down the drain or into the toilet, they end in the water supply because water treatment processes can't completely remove them.

Medications should not be flushed.

Why can't I put my unused meds down the drain?

When you put unused prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications down the drain, they go through the sewer system and eventually enter our lakes, streams, and rivers. Many of our wastewater treatment systems are not designed or equipped to remove medications from waste water. In homes that use septic tanks, prescription and over-the-counter drugs put down the drain can leach into the ground and seep into groundwater.

When these medications enter the environment, they can negatively affect fish and other aquatic wildlife, and end up in our drinking water supply.

What Should I do with my unused meds?

Check out our locator map to find a take-back location near you.

If you don't see one listed, contact your local law enforcement agency to see if the precinct offers take-back services, or check the National Community Pharmacy Association's (NCPA) Dispose My Meds Program website's locator map for pharmacies that may be participating in a take-back program. It's recommended that you call first to make sure they still participate. Note that pharmacies cannot accept controlled substances. Consult your city for proper disposal of needles and other sharps.

Watch for advertisements of medicine take-back events on this website, your city's website, or in your water bill inserts. These events provide a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of medicine while also educating the general public about the potential for medication abuse. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency sponsors take-back events twice per year.

You can also send in some medications to take-back services by a paid envelope. Here is one option: http://www.sharpsinc.com/pharmaceutical-waste

As a last resort, dispose of medicines in your household trash. You can do this by mixing medicines with a substance like kitty litter or used coffee grounds, placing that mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag or bottle with a screw top and place that container in the trash.

Can I put unused medications in the trash?

As a last resort, you can dispose of medicines in your household trash.

You can do this by mixing medicines with a substance like kitty litter or used coffee grounds, placing that mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag or bottle with a lid and place that container in the trash.

How can you protect our water quality?

Easy steps to Defend Your Drains

By practicing these three simple actions, you can help protect our water quality.

1. Participate in the DEA Med Take-Back Event

Around April and October, the US Durg Enforcement Agency hosts a nationwide drug take-back day in which citizens can clean out their medicine cabinets and bring in all of their unused and expired medications. Participation is completely anonymous.

Find more information at https://takebackday.dea.gov

2. Take advantage of local drop-off facilities

There are dozens of year-round medication drop-off locations around the DFW area. You don't always need to wait for the annual DEA Drug Take-Back day to come around. It is especially important with young children around to keep medications out of reach and if you no longer need a medication it is safer to properly dispose of it rather than hold on to it.

3. Remember the 3 Ps.

Do not flush unused medications! The toilet should only be used for three things; Pee, Poop, and toilet Paper.

Even liquid medications should not be poured down the drain. The best option is to bring the medicine to a drug take-back event or drop-off location, the second best option is to place it in the trash in a sealed container.

Medication Drop-off Locator

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