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How are old, expired prescription drugs destroyed? Is there a safe way to get rid of meds?

What is the safest way to get rid of old drugs? Across the U.S. drug take-back events are being held. Those events often lead to one very obvious question: What is the best way to dispose of medications and drugs safely without harm to others or the environment?

Experts say not to throw them in the trash. Expired or unused medications should not be thrown away or end up in a landfill. The old medications also shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet.

Why? It ends up in water supply, which is problematic for a number of reasons.


When drug take-back events are held officials safely dispose of them by burning the old or unused drugs.

But don’t worry – local law enforcement or public health officials aren’t burning drugs in your community. Most of the time, law enforcement agencies partner with incinerator plants.

Many in the Rochester-area utilize a facility in Niagara Falls.

Federal estimates show that around 10 million people misused prescription pain relievers in 2019. That same year over 70,000 people died from overdoses.



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