Controlled substances (prescription medications such as pain killers and tranquilizers which are regulated by the Controlled Substances Act) can be taken to local participating law enforcement agencies Controlled substances can be taken to participating Sheriff or Police Departments.
Non-controlled substances (over-the-counter drugs as well as some prescriptions that are not regulated by the Controlled Substances Act) and only non-controlled substances can be taken to local Participating Pharmacies.
What are unwanted medications
Unwanted medications are medications that are outdated or no longer needed. People often inherit prescription or over-the-counter drugs when a relative or friend has passed away.
What are Controlled and Non-controlled substances?
Unwanted medications can include CONTROLLED and NON-CONTROLLED substances.
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES are drugs or chemicals whose manufacture, possession and use are regulated by the Controlled Substances Act which is enforced the Drug Enforcement Administration. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES may include illegal drugs or prescription medications such as pain killers and tranquilizers.
NON-CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES include over-the-counter drugs as well as some prescriptions that are not regulated by the Controlled Substances Act.
To determine if you have a CONTROLLED or NON-CONTROLLED substance, ask your doctor or pharmacist or call the National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
Why is improper disposal of unwanted medications dangerous?
Improper disposal of unwanted medications can result in serious harm to humans, animals, and the environment. Proper drug disposal is an emerging issue in the environmental arena. All medications applied or ingested may be excreted or washed into sewage systems and discharged to the environment. The risks posed to humans by long-term consumption of minute quantities of medications in drinking water, as well as the risks to the environment by continual exposure are unknown. Flushing unwanted medications down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage just adds to the problem.
Medications in our wastewater
In 2002 the United States Geological Survey (USGS) published the results of a two-year study that included nationwide sampling and analysis of streams for wastewater contaminants including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and hormones. The study results indicated that many wastewater contaminants were present at detectable quantities in rivers across the nation. While the concentrations detected in the study were low, and rarely exceeded drinking water guidelines or aquatic life criteria, the USGS pointed out that standards haven’t been set for many compounds because we don’t yet know enough about them or their effect on human or environmental health.
Some unwanted medications can be donated to the Free Clinic of SW Washington
How can I safely dispose of unwanted medications?
Prior to transporting your unwanted medications, be sure that:
- They are in the original container with the name of the medicine visible.
- They are in a container that is not leaking and is capable of being be sealed.
- All patient information has either been removed or obscured.
Where can I safely dispose of unwanted Non-Controlled Substances?
- For unwanted NON-CONTROLLED substances, check with your local pharmacy on disposal options.
- You may also contact Clark County Solid Waste at (360) 397 2121 ext. 4352 to ask about a specific pharmacy or have a copy of the list mailed to you.
- Return unwanted NON-CONTROLLED substances to your physician. Ask your physician if he/she will take your unwanted medications for safe disposal.
- Take NON-CONTROLLED substances to a household hazardous waste collection facility or collection event.
Where can I safely dispose of unwanted Controlled Substances?
Controlled substances can be taken to participating Sheriff or Police Departments.
- Always call before transporting unwanted medications. Not all medications can be taken to every disposal site. Some medications must be taken to special sites for proper disposal.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist or call the National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 to find out if your unwanted medications are controlled or non-controlled substances.