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Medication Disposal

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Did you know that the federal government has guidelines for throwing out prescription drugs that may help curb drug abuse, accidental overdose, and protect U.S. water sources? Guidelines recommend:

  • · Remove drugs from original container. By removing unwanted, unused, or expired medicine from its original container, you are ensuring that medicine will not fall in the wrong hands. Orange prescription bottles are easily recognizable and can be stolen from garbage cans and landfills. Your personal information should be removed or blacked out.
  • · Crush and mix drugs with undesirable content and throw in garbage. Guidelines suggest mixing medications with items like used wet coffee grinds or wet cat litter and placing them in a sealed bag or jar. Throw container in trash can. This extra step can prevent accidental overdose by children and pets and also possible drug theft.
  •  Do not flush old prescription drugs down the toilet. Unless otherwise stated on the label or in the drug information pamphlet given to you by your pharmacist, do not flush unwanted prescription medication down the toilet. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently researching how prescription drugs affect U.S. waterways.

The following are some local options for household sharps disposal:

If you have unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs, participating Kaiser Permanente pharmacies offer safe, convenient, and earth-friendly ways for you to throw them away. Patients can drop their unwanted drugs into secure collection kiosks located in some Kaiser Permanente pharmacy lobbies. The kiosks are available during normal business hours. Information can be found here.

Material Recovery Facility (MRF) locates at 4100 Throwita Way, Placerville. This site will accept home generated sharps waste on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Information can be found here.

Remember, sharps must be placed inside a labeled, sealed container.

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