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Expired and Otherwise Unusable Prescriptions: Where Do They Go?

Expired and Otherwise Unusable Prescriptions: Where Do They Go?

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At some point throughout our lives, nearly all of us will have a prescription. Western medicine and modern technologies have developed drugs to help us cope with any number of issues, from pain management to helping ease anxiety, birth control to fighting off infections. In some instances we no longer need to continue taking our prescriptions even though the bottle isn’t empty, but what do we do with old, unwanted or expired medications? The growing opiate crisis combined with other prescription drug abuse creates a dangerous situation when dealing with legally and properly prescribed drugs.

Unfortunately, most prescription drugs aren’t common trash. We can’t simply toss them in the refuse and let it be. Most cannot be flushed, either, due to the ingredients within the drugs proposing pollution to our waterways. Fortunately, we in San Antonio do have several options
when it comes to disposing of our prescription drugs safely and without consequence.

MedDropSA Events

The city of San Antonio holds three MedDropSA events per year with mobile collection sites.  The trained on-site staff collects your old medications at no charge and properly disposes of them. San Antonio Water Systems, San Antonio Police and the City of San Antonio Solid Waste Management Department sponsor these events. You are welcome to bring your old, expired and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs to these events in their original containers, in zip-style plastic bags, and liquids in their original bottles. These events do not
accept needles or other sharp items associated with prescriptions or drugs.

Pharmacy Drop-Offs

Several pharmacies in our area offer prescription drug drop-off, making it even more convenient to dispose of unwanted medications — stop in on your way to or from work, or while out running errands. These are simply programs utilizing a kiosk in the store to drop off your unwanted pills. The pharmacies often work with a specific company to dispose of the medication properly, keeping them out of the hands of kids or others who shouldn’t have them.

Police Departments

If you’re still unsure where to dispose of your unwanted prescription drugs in San Antonio, contact the police department to inquire. Several will take the medications for you; at the very least, they can direct you to a proper disposal location.

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