DEA National Take Back Initiative
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has been hosting national drug take back days twice a year. Their next event is
scheduled for October 22, 2016 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Collection sites will be listed at this website:
DEA’s disposal regulations including how your facility can becomes an "authorized collector" can be found here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take my unwanted medicine to my pharmacy?
New federal regulations allow pharmacies to have collection programs. You should check with your pharmacy to see if it is available. If not, consider asking them to start a collection program.
Can I take my unwanted medicine to a hospital?
New federal regulations allow hospitals to have collection programs. You should check with your hospital to see if it is available. If not, consider asking them to start a collection program.
Can I take my unwanted medicine to my doctor?
In most cases, your doctor will not be able to take them back. If the doctor is located in a hospital with a collection program, he will be able to direct you to the collection container.
Can I donate my unwanted medicine?
In most cases, no. However, the Department of Health has information about donating chemotherapy drugs here:
Can I put my unwanted medicine in my SHARPS container?
No, medicine should not be disposed in your sharps container. For information on sharps disposal
If I don’t have a pharmacy, doctor, or hospital collection program available and I can’t donate them or put them in my sharps container, how do I dispose of them if there is no local collection opportunity for me?
Please use our guidance document which will show you how to safely disguise and dispose of your medication in your trash. Although not our preferred disposal method, it is better than flushing unwanted medicines.
For more information, please
Mail Back Programs Through Retailers and Disposal Products
Some retailers sell mail back products for unwanted medicines. These are suitable for household use as long as you follow package directions. There are also products available to mix with medications so they can be disposed in the trash. They are also designed for use by homeowners.
None of these products are suitable for disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals from a business like a medical facility or pharmacy. DEP does not regulate any of these products.
If you cannot find a drop-off site please use the disposal guidance