Protect your family and our environment from a common cause of accidents by safely disposing of medications you no longer use or need. Safely getting rid of unwanted medicines is an important part of being safe at home.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day happens every October. The event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Read more about why safe medicine disposal matters and where you can take meds back any time of year around Washington State.
Why safe medicine disposal matters
Unwanted medicines left in the home endanger our children, seniors, and pets. About half of the 37,000 phone calls to the Washington Poison Center concern young children who have been poisoned by medicines found at home. Flushing drugs or discarding in the garbage sends them directly into our waters and surrounding environment. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country. Most abusers of medicines, including teens, get the drugs from a friend or relative, often without their knowledge.
Eliminating excess medication from the home can reduce the potential for unintentional injury or misuse and abuse.
Washington State Take Back Your Med Program
Promoting secure medication take-back and safe medication disposal are vital components of an overall order by Governor Inslee to address the opioid crisis nationwide and here in Washington State. Take-back programs are the most convenient, cost-effective, and secure way to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines.
Washington Poison Center (WAPC) currently manages the statewide Take Back Your Meds programs. Takebackyourmeds.org helps Washington state residents locate pharmacy and law enforcement locations to dispose of their unused, unwanted, and/or expired medications.
Most police departments, sheriff’s offices, and local pharmacies can collect your unwanted and expired medicines. Use the map below or visit
Meds you can take back
Items Accepted at Take Back Your Meds: Over-the-counter medicines, Vitamins, Pet Medicines, Medicated ointments and lotions, Inhalers, and Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 oz.). Note: Only law enforcement agencies and designated pharmacies can accept controlled substances (such as OxyContin and other pain relievers).
NOT Accepted at Take Back Your Meds: Needles/Lancets/Syringes, Thermometers, Empty containers, Bloody or infectious waste, Personal care products(non-medicated shampoo, etc.), Hydrogen Peroxide
Use the map below or visit the takebackyourmeds.org to find your nearest medicine take-back location, and the items each one accepts.