Drug Disposal

Saturday, April 25th – Prescription Drug Take Back – 10am – 2pm

Iron County: Smiths Parking Lot (633 South Main)


Prescription drug abuse is becoming an epidemic, largely due to the sheer volume of prescription drugs floating around, (almost 75% of kids who abuse Rx drugs get them from their own home or that of a friend). In addition, every year more than 71,000 children end up in the emergency room from unintentional medicine overdoses. We can curb these problems by getting rid of unused or expired medications. To prevent ground water contamination and environmental poisoning, we discourage residents from flushing their Rx drugs down the toilet.

We have listed here instructions and resources for the proper disposal of prescription drugs and helpful links for further information on the subject.

Drug Disposal Instructions & Info

NEVER flush drugs down the toilet (unless the label on the prescription directs you to do so. Click here for a list of Flushable Medications.)

Step 1: Note that many pharmacies have a ‘Take-Back Program’ allowing you to drop off your unused or expired medications. Check with your local pharmacist to see if this is an option. For example, Rite Aid has bags that can be purchased for $4 that customers can place their meds in and then mail directly to the incinerator.

Step 2 – DROP BOXES: Some communities have a drop box where you can leave your medications, no-questions-asked. Currently, the only boxes existing in the Southwest Area are at the Washington County Sherrif’s department, the Hurricane City Police Department, the Washington City Police Department and the Cedar City Police Department.




View Southwest Utah Drop Boxes in a larger map

Step 3: If your local pharmacist does not have a Take-Back Program and your local law enforcement agency does not have a drop box, the final option is to dispose of the drugs yourself. Follow these instructions:

1- Follow the instructions on the drug label or packaging: Most medications come with instructions; keep them and follow them. There are some drugs that can be flushed down the toilet, but most cannot, (List of medications you can flush).

2- If no instructions are given, throw the drugs away, BUT FIRST:

  • Take them out of their container and mix them with an undesirable substance, (like kitty litter or coffee grounds.)
  • Put them in a sealable bag and throw them away.
  • Scratch off identifying information from the original packaging/bottle to protect your privacy. Throw the containers away seperately.
  • When in doubt, call your pharmacist or SouthwestPrevention

- FDA Guidelines Handout
- En Espanol – Cómo desechar los medicamentos sin usar
- Office of National Drug Control Policy – Guidelines Handout
- What you should know about flushing medications
- View a video demonstration on how to properly dispose of meds

Other Useful Resources: