Safe Disposal

What is the safest way to dispose of my prescriptions?

When medications are expired, unwanted, or unused, it is important to dispose of them properly to avoid harm to others. Excess medications can be accidentally ingested by your children and pets, stolen and abuse to get high, or even make their way to our water systems if improperly flushed down the toilet. The best way to dispose of prescriptions is a permanent drop box at your local Police Department of Sheriff’s Office. Or you can take advantage of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days twice a year at locations around Idaho.

Permanent drop boxes

Idaho has over 109 drop boxes located statewide where you can anonymously drop off your unused or expired medications.

Click here to find a location nearest you

If you are a Police Department or Sheriff’s Office and would like to learn how to set up a drop box, please call the Office of Drug Policy at (208) 854-3040.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Days

Take advantage of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Days on Saturday, April 28th, 2017, 10am-2pm.

Find one of the 100+ statewide locations nearest you

What if I don’t have a local drop box?

Do not flush your excess medications down the toilet unless the disposal instructions specifically tell you to do so.  If you do not have a permanent drop box in your community, please follow these FDA guidelines on how to properly dispose of medications through household trash.

  1. Mix medicines with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
  2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.
  3. Throw container in household trash.
  4. Before throwing out your empty pill bottle or medicine packaging, remember to scratch out all personal information of the prescription label.

More disposal resources

FDA Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know

Lingo Quiz


Is your child talking about prescription drugs right in front of you? Take this quiz to see if you know the common slang terms for prescription drugs.