Health Mart: Drug Disposal

Outdated or unusable drugs that are disposed of by flushing or pouring down a sink, enter the environment because wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove them.

Storing unused or outdated prescriptions creates an opportunity for illicit use. One in five teens report intentionally misusing someone else’s prescription drugs to get high. Nearly half say they get the medications from friends and relatives for free, often by raiding the medicine cabinet or by attending “pharming parties” where teens barter legal drugs and get high.

Christine Jacobson with Health Mart Pharmacies talks about proper drug disposal.

From the website

What should you do with unused medications? First, do not flush or do not pour. Prescription or over-the-counter medications should not be flushed down the toilet or poured down a sink. Follow these guidelines to dispose of these products properly

• First, check with your police department to see if they have a drug collection program. Both the Salt Lake City Police Department and the Salt Lake County Sherriff’s Office each have established a proper disposal program,

• Second, check to see if your community household hazardous waste program collects medications (they must have law enforcement officials present); and

• Lastly, if no collection options exist, follow these steps:

o Remove all personal identification from prescription bottles;

o Mix all unused drugs with coffee grounds, kitty litter, or another undesirable substance, and/or

o Place this mixture in a sealed container before disposing in the trash.

• Facts about prescription drug disposal:

o Unused medications improperly disposed of can harm you and your environment

o Drugs can be scavenged and illegally sold

o Children and animals could be poisoned if they find and swallow drugs

o When drugs are flushed, they are not removed by the sewage treatment facilities and septic tank systems and can enter the soil, surface water and groundwater

o Research studies have shown that exposure to drugs found in waterways is having a serious negative impact on fish and other aquatic life

o Pollution prevention: the elimination or minimization of the pollution source – is preferable to cleaning up the environment

• Collection sites in Utah

o Police Station at 1040 West 700 South, Salt Lake city

o Police Station at 315 East 200 South, Salt Lake city

o Herriman Sheriff Substation, 13272 South 5600 West, Herriman

o Cottonwood Heights Sheriff Substation, 7480 South 2700 East, Cottonwood Heights

o Holladay Sheriff Substation, 4570 South 2300 East, Holladay

o Harrisonville Police Station, 363 Independence Blvd, Ogden

o Morgan County Sheriff, 48 W. Young Street, Morgan

o South Ogden Police, 3950 Adams Ave #1, Ogden

o Roy Police, 5051 South 1900 West, Roy
o North Ogden Police 505 East 2600 North, Ogden

Go to for additional information and sites near your location.
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