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Director: Jennifer Johnson


Drug Take Back Program : FAQ


Drug Take Back Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take old or unused medications to a Take Back location?
Safe, secure storage of your current medications and disposal of expired medication helps limit the supply for people who abuse prescription drugs. It also prevents children who may be curious about prescription drugs from accidentally ingesting them and getting poisoned. Proper disposal also helps protect the environment.

Drugs disposed of at a Take Back location are placed in a secure box to be later collected and destroyed.

How do I dispose of my medications if I’m not near a Take Back location?
If you can’t get to a Take Back location, the FDA recommends the following:

  1. Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds;
  2. Place the mixture in a disposable container, such as a sealed plastic bag;
  3. Throw the container in your household trash, hidden as much as possible;
  4. Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.

Why can’t I just flush all my drugs?
Proper disposal of drugs help protect our water supply and our environment.

What happens to the drugs put in the Take Back Box?
The secure box is emptied and destroyed by law enforcement on a regular basis.

Why aren’t there more Take Back locations?
Washington currently does not have a statewide Drug Take Back Program. For more information about this, check out or