Safe Disposal of Unused Medications

When your medicines are no longer needed, they should be disposed of promptly. Consumers and caregivers should remove expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from their home as quickly as possible to help reduce

 the chance that others accidentally take or intentionally misuse the unneeded medicine, and to help reduce drugs from entering the environment. Below, we list some options and special instructions for you to consider when disposing of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines.

Your best choices for disposal of unused or expired medicines are:

  • Medicine take-back options. Receptacles are now available at the McLean Police Precinct.
  • Disposal in the household trash. Instructions are below.
  • Flushing certain potentially dangerous medications in the toilet. A list is below.

Visit for more information on the safe disposal of medications.

Keep all alcohol in a locked cabinet

◻ Inventory and monitor any alcoholic beverages in your home.

Lock and monitor all over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications

◻  Only buy the medicines you need (preferably in limited quantities) and monitor quantity.

◻  Clear out your medicine cabinets and properly dispose unused portions.

◻  Lock up medications when possible.

◻  Urge your friends and family relatives to inventory and secure their medications as well.

Do the same inventory on common household cleaners and poisons

◻ Look at the contents of your kitchen cabinets, garage, office, or anywhere in the house where cleaners, solvents and aerosols are stored. Monitor access and quantities for potential inhalant abuse.

Secure all firearms

◻ Make sure all firearms are stored unloaded in a locked safe and/or with trigger lock, separate from ammunition. Trigger locks are inexpensive; check with your local law enforcement agency which might provide them free of charge.

Monitor internet use

◻ Teens can order prescription medications online, meet adults posing as teens, and get information about dangerous misuse of over the counter medications as well as other “legal’ substances.

◻ Check your teen’s social networking pages, such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and SnapChat, to make sure there is no identifying information that could endanger your teen.

◻ Check websites they use to see if they are engaging in online gambling. If so, block those sites from your computers.

◻ Place computers in open areas of your home so Internet use can be better monitored. Consider a written contract between you and your child of expectations and rules regarding the digital world.

Monitor teen parties

◻ Use limited guest list by invitation only, avoid “open party,” and don’t use email to invite.

◻ Welcome calls from other parents. Be sure to call parent’s landline if your teen is attending a party.

◻ Set clear rules ahead of time, such as no alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Report violations to parents.

◻ Limit party access to easily monitored areas of the house, make regular unobtrusive checks.