Take advantage of local and national resources to dispose of unused medications safely.
- Get special prescription disposal bags from the Cape Girardeau County Health Department.
- Use the FDA instructions below to throw away drugs at home. (see below)
- Stop by our Drug Takeback event 10/22 (see news release from our Police Department below).
From the FDA:
Medicines play an important role in treating many conditions and diseases and when they are no longer needed it is important to dispose of them properly to help reduce harm from accidental exposure or intentional misuse. Below, we list some options and special instructions for you to consider when disposing of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines.
You can follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in the household trash:1
- Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds;
- Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag;
- Throw the container in your household trash;
- Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.
Also, our Public Works personnel recommend that you check for specific instructions on the prescription label. If you use needles they need to be secured in a suitable container so there is no danger of someone getting stuck by the used needle.
From our Police Department News Release:
THE CAPE GIRARDEAU POLICE DEPARTMENT IS TAKING BACK UNWANTED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ON OCTOBER 22, FROM 10 AM TO 2 PM, AT THE WEST PARK MALL ACROSS FROM STEAK AND SHAKE
On Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Cape Girardeau Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to 3049 William St, West Park Mall, Cape Girardeau, MO across from Steak and Shake. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds—about 3,200 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 22 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website or contact Lt. Bradley Smith at 573-335-6621 Ext 1148.