The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is seeking to expand Project Medicine Drop to all 21 counties.
If a Project Medicine Drop location is not available nearby, you can dispose of unused and expired prescription medications by following these tips developed by the FDA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy:
- Follow any specific disposal instructions on the medication’s drug label or patient information.
- If no disposal instructions are provided on the label, you can throw drugs in the household trash. First take them out of the original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. Then put the unattractive mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent it from leaking out of a garbage bag.
- Before throwing out a medicine container, scratch out all identifying information on the label in order to protect your identity and your privacy.
- DO NOT give medications to friends. Doctors prescribe drugs based on a person’s specific symptoms and medical history. A drug that helps you may harm someone else.
- When in doubt about proper disposal of a drug, talk to your pharmacist.
Consumers are NOT advised to flush unused medications down the drain, or simply discard them in the trash.
Scientists have expressed concerns about the effects of medications being released into the water supplies after having been flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink, and the U.S. Geological Survey has found traces of pharmaceuticals in streams in 30 states. Simply placing drugs in the trash creates the potential that they will be found by those seeking to sell or abuse them.