Posted on April 27, 2022
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
This Saturday, April 30th, is National Drug Take Back Day. The Take Back Day is part of the DEA’s National Take Back Initiative to safely dispose of unwanted medications.
Take Back Day Events are happening across the state from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Use the link below to search for local collection events close to you:
Search Take Back Day Events
Local Collection Drop Boxes
As of 2021, there are 116 drop boxes across Connecticut located at local police stations, state police barracks, and local pharmacies. The boxes are available year-round for residents to drop off unwanted medications.
Over-the-counter medications accepted at drop boxes and collections include:
- Prescription medications
- Medication samples
- Medications for household pets
- Medicated lotions or ointments
Items not accepted include:
- Hazardous waste
- Personal care products (shampoo, etc.)
- Needles or other “sharps”
Examples of sharps include:
- Needles – hollow needles used to inject drugs (medication) under the skin
- Syringes – devices used to inject medication into or withdraw fluid from the body Lancets, also called “fingerstick” devices – instruments with a short, two-edged blade used to get drops of blood for testing. Lancets are commonly used in the treatment of diabetes.
- Auto Injectors, including epinephrine and insulin pens – syringes pre-filled with fluid medication designed to be self-injected into the body
- Infusion sets – tubing systems with a needle used to deliver drugs to the body.
- Connection needles/sets – needles that connect to a tube used to transfer fluids in and out of the body. This is generally used for patients on home hemodialysis.
Proper Disposal of Unneeded Medication
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has published information for proper disposal of medications.
Dispose of drugs in your household trash by doing the following:
- Keep the medication in its original container. Use a permanent marker or duct tape to cross out your personal information, or remove the label.
- Make medication less appealing. Mix your drugs (liquid or pills) with hot water to dissolve them. Add an undesirable substance, such as salt, ashes, saw dust, used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
- Contain and seal. Place it inside a container such as an empty yogurt or margarine tub to ensure that the contents cannot be seen and tape it shut.
- Throw out the container in your trash can. Do not put the container in your recycling bin.
Why Not Flush?
- Flushed medications can get into our lakes, rivers and streams. Research has shown that continuous exposure to low levels of medications has altered the behavior and physiology of fish and aquatic organisms.
- Pharmaceuticals enter our wastewater from a variety of sources, including the flushing of unused medications. A nationwide study done in 1999 and 2000 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found low levels of drugs such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80% of the rivers and streams tested.