DDPHE Blog: Safe Medication Disposal in Denver

Published on March 07, 2024

The abuse of prescription medicine is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, particularly among teens. Nearly 224,000 Coloradans misuse prescription drugs each year. Take Meds Back helps Denver residents safely dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. Safe disposal keeps medications like opioids, sedatives, and stimulants from being misused or abused. It also helps protect precious environment and wildlife. The best way to get rid of household medications is to take them to the nearest secure collection box. Find a disposal location in Denver today and continue reading to learn more about the importance of safe disposal.

Why Safe Disposal Matters

Getting rid of old or unused meds using a safe disposal box or a take back event is the best way to ensure they won’t be misused or stolen. Colorado has a program with more than 100 secure take back boxes at pharmacies and law enforcement agencies, including locations in Denver. Many pharmacy chains are committed to safe disposal as well and have take back boxes conveniently placed inside the pharmacy. You also can go to National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event,  which takes place the last Saturday of April and October. Meds collected this way are securely disposed of, usually by incineration.

Protecting the Environment

Medication that is flushed down the toilet can enter the environment, potentially harming humans and wildlife while contaminating our water. Tests often show trace amounts of medications in drinking water, and studies have shown that animals and people have tested positive for prescription medications, even if they have never taken them directly.

Throwing meds away also isn’t safe, as they can be taken from trash and used illegally. If you must throw your medications away, you should mix them with coffee grounds, kitty litter, or something similar. The Environmental Protection Agency has safe disposal guidelines you can consult.

To learn more about prescription drug safety including use, storage and disposal at the Take Meds Back website