If you need to safely dispose of your medications for any reason, the CHI Health retail pharmacies participate in the MEDS (Medication Education for Disposal Strategies) program, which is coordinated through the Nebraska Pharmacists Association. The Nebraska MEDS coalition was created to educate consumers about the dangers of pharmaceutical waste, in addition to providing options for disposal of unused or unwanted medication.
Each pharmacy has a large container where all non-controlled substances can be dropped off. In our Iowa locations, controlled substances can be placed in the containers. In our Nebraska locations, controlled substances cannot be put in the container, so an envelope with directions on how to mail for disposal will be given.
Types of prescriptions that can be accepted include: tablets, capsules topical, liquid, and patches. Not accepted are syringes, sharps, medical devices, hazardous waste, aerosols. Please dispose of those in the medically safe indicated manner.
Why You Should Dispose of Medications Responsibly
When unused medications are thrown away or flushed down the toilet, many of these drugs can then be found in small concentrations in the drinking water supplies. Some filtration systems do not always filter out these chemicals. Deep underground aquifers can also be exposed to these pharmaceutical medications, especially if close to landfills and animal feed lots. Even small exposure could cause concern to human health and aquatic organisms.
The best way to dispose these medications is by participating in a take back program, where the medications are collected and disposed of without contaminating the water supply. The program at CHI Health Pharmacies is free, and because the medications are properly treated, water resources are not contaminated compared to disposing medications into the landfill. Another positive aspect is to prevent the potential abuse of unused medications. The home medicine cabinet may be an unintentional place where someone is looking for medication to abuse.
Please dispose of your unused medications responsibly. For more information, call your nearest CHI Health Pharmacy.