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Dispose of Unneeded Medications


Safe and timely disposal of unneeded prescription medications, especially opioids, has never been more important than it is today.

In addition to keeping these substances out of our water supply, safe disposal of unneeded medication helps to keep drugs out of the hands of people who might abuse them. 

Abuse of certain prescription medications, which has led many people into addiction and heroin use, has become a deadly epidemic across the United States. This opioid epidemic is the focus of a major initiative by Attorney General Josh Stein.

In North Carolina, many communities now have year-round drop boxes where prescription and over-the-counter medications can be placed for safe disposal. 

Check here and here to see if there is a drop box in your area.

You can also contact your local police or sheriff’s office for assistance in disposing of unneeded prescription medications, and especially opioids.

In addition to the year-round drop boxes that are becoming more common across North Carolina, many law enforcement agencies hold special collection events for prescription medications. These events generally occur in conjunction with National Poison Prevention Week which takes place in March, or National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which usually occurs in April and October.

The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is scheduled for October 28. Check here in mid-October to see if law enforcement agencies in your area are participating in this fall’s event.

Prescription Drug Take-Back events take place with assistance from the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina’s Operation Medicine Drop, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.