Drug Disposal Resources

Did you know that medicines left in the home are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse? Studies indicate that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Use the resources below to identify safe and effective methods to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs.

Drug Disposal Boxes

Certain law enforcement agencies and pharmacies in Ohio offer drug disposal boxes to collect and dispose of unwanted or expired prescription medications from the general public. To locate your closest drug disposal box, use the following links:

DEA Drug Disposal Regulations

Effective October 9, 2014, new Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations allow authorized manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, narcotic treatment programs, hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy, and retail pharmacies to collect controlled and non-controlled pharmaceutical drugs from ultimate users by voluntarily administering mail-back programs and maintaining collection receptacles. In addition, the regulations allow authorized hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy and retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection receptacles at long-term care facilities. To learn more about these regulations, please review the Board’s guidance document below.

Additional Resources

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have a number of resources available on how to safely dispose of prescription medications:

Disposal of Household Generated Sharps

Disposing of loose needles, lancets and syringes (sharps) into household trash poses a risk to family members and solid waste workers who must handle the waste. Ohio law allows for the disposal of sharps generated by an individual for the purposes of their own care or treatment at home. To learn more about how to safely dispose of household generated sharps, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has developed the following guidance document:

Disposal of Controlled Substance Inventory

Healthcare and other facilities that seek to dispose of their inventory of controlled substances must do so in accordance with Rule 4729:5-3-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code.