Effective Unwanted Prescription Medication Disposal | DAC Allen County Drug & Alcohol Consortium

Effective Unwanted Prescription Medication Disposal

Jerri Lerch

According to many reports, the USA contains about 5% of the world’s population and yet consumes more than 80% of the world’s pain killer or “opioid” medication.  We have too many pills and medications, beyond what is needed.  Some medications are very effective healing agents assisting in effective recovery.  Some are used recreationally or in a dangerous way. The medical and law enforcement communities are working together to reduce the numbers of pills that are used.  Some are prescribed for multiple conditions in the elderly, post-surgery recovery, or sports injuries.   For some, recreational use and especially by our youth.  Physicians, prescribers, pharmacies, and drug companies all make very effective medications available that are sometimes misused or misused recreationally.  It is good to see a pain management specialist, to use multiple techniques such as exercise, relaxation, and medication to supplement efforts with pain pills.

It is illegal and a felony law violation to take medication that is prescribed for someone else or in a manner other than the doctor or prescriber orders for the identified patient.  Technically, if your doctor says “take all of the pills for them to be effective”, it is illegal to stop them too early.  Like any other good recycling approaches, the first effort is to reduce the need for pain pills by other active management techniques.  You help people and the environment by disposing of unwanted/unused medications properly:

  1. Take your own medications only as directed by your physician.
  2. Keep all of your active medications secured, preferably under lock and key.  Some adults and youth seek them out for dangerous recreational and substance abuse activities.  Some will go through medicine cabinets, kitchen cabinets, and night stands of family members, friends, neighbors, or real estate open houses.
  3. Properly dispose of any medications that you no longer need.  Perhaps you have a prescription that was filled and you didn’t need to take all of them, or the doctor changed to a new and improved medication approach
  4. Do not flush unwanted medications in the toilet—it contaminates our water supply.  Please help to save our environment.  Liquid medications can be poured into kitty litter or coffee grounds and included in your trash.  Protect our safety workers!  Sharps need to be disposed of in a properly designed sharps disposal container.
  5. Pharmacies and Law Enforcement Officers work together to safely manage powerful pills that are no longer needed. They just want to remove the pills safely and do not have enough staff to chase you for any reason.  They want you, your family, and your neighbors to be safe.
  6. In the Fort Wayne area you can ALWAYS take your unwanted medications to:
    • Northwest:  Huntertown Town Hall, 15617 Lima Road, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
    • Southwest:  Indiana State Police Post, 5811 Ellison Road, 24 Hour Drop off in the Lobby and Walgreens, 6202 West Jefferson Blvd, 24 Hours
    • Central:  Fort Wayne Police Department, Rousseau Center, 1 East Main Street, 24 Hours
    • East:  New Haven Police Department, 815 Lincoln Highway East, 24 Hours
    • Northeast:  Walgreens, 6201 Stellhorn Road, 24 Hours
  7. We have special days that our TRIAD committee, consisting of senior agencies, police, pharmacies, waste management professionals, and prevention specialists work together for even more disposal sites.  They are usually scheduled on the fourth Friday of April and September of each year.

On Friday, April 27th, 2018, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, friendly law enforcement officers and community volunteers will assist you at most Walgreen’s locations:

  • 5830 North Clinton Street
  • 6730 Bluffton Road
  • 330 West State Boulevard
  • 907 Lincoln Highway West, New Haven
  • 10170 Maysville Road
  • 1701 East Paulding Road
  • 5435 East Dupont Road
  • 10211 Chestnut Plaza Drive, Chestnut Hills
  • 11932 Lima Road
  • 10412 Coldwater Road
  • 2410 North Coliseum Boulevard
  • 7950 West Jefferson Boulevard, Lutheran Hospital

Thank you for taking such good care of yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.