My daughter just moved from downtown Miami to Georgia. Packing for that move raised a question we had previously avoided with a shoe box in the cabinet: how do we safely dispose of old medications?
While a lot of people still dispose of their unused/expired prescription and over-the-counter medications in their trash or by flushing them down the toilet, this is not the best method. According to the DEA, “unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold.” Medications meant for humans are also the leading cause of pet poisonings; medications Fido can easily retrieve from the trash can. And “studies are showing adverse effects on aquatic life” as reported by Harvard Medical School in their June 2011 Harvard Letter. So we knew what NOT to do with shoe box full of old medications. But what SHOULD we do?
With a little research, I discovered that some pharmacies, community groups and government agencies offer take-back, drop-off or mail-back programs to dispose of expired or unwanted medications. I also found the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy website, which offers an excellent locator for local prescription drug drop-off sites as part of their AWARxE initiative. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration also offers a comprehensive “Controlled Substance Public Disposal” locator, though it is not mobile-friendly.
Drug Disposal Locations in the City of Miami
- CVS Pharmacy store #00564, 2500 SW 22nd Street, Coconut Grove, Florida 33145
- CVS Pharmacy store #554, 690 NW 57th Avenue, Miami, FL 33126
- Walgreens Pharmacy store #3943, 200 SW 13th Street, Miami, FL
- Walgreens Pharmacy store #3316, 2700 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida 33135
- AIDS Healthcare Foundation, 2900 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137
- Benzer Pharmacy, 1250 NW 7th Street, Miami, FL 33125
- Express Rx Pharmacy, 3421 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33135
I knew that proper disposal of unused or expired medications is good for our community and our environment. With these “take-back” drop-off locations, I discovered it’s easy, too.
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy – Drug Disposal Locator
- Earth911 – How to Recycle Unwanted and Expired Medications
- FDA – “Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know”
- Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal