Medication Safety

Safe Medication Disposal

Do you have medicine you want to get rid of? Some can be flushed, others must be returned to a take-back location.
Learn how to safely dispose of unused medications

Safe medication disposal is important to preventing misuse and abuse. Properly disposing of unwanted or unneeded medications also supports a healthy environment. Learn how to properly dispose of old, unused, or expired medication.

An authorized drug-take back location is always the first recommendation for disposing of unwanted medication. The DEA coordinates with local communities in two community-based drug take-back events during the National Drug Take Back campaign sponsored by the DEA. These events usually take place in April and October. Many police departments and pharmacies are now year-round collection sites. Search for a DEA-authorized collection location and events.

Check the U.S. Food & Drug flush list for select medicines you can immediately get rid of by flushing.

A new Oregon law requires drug companies to pay for and run a drug take-back program. The program must be operational by July 1, 2021. Read more about the new law

Safe Medicine Storage

Safe Kids Worldwide infographic. Where do you keep your medicine? Remember to keep all medicine up and away, out of children's reach and sight.
Medicine should be stored out of reach of children at all times.

Up and Away

Prevent childhood exposure to medications in the home by storing medication up and away and out of sight of children every time. Medication should be stored in a location out reach and locked up if possible. Read more about medicine safety and children from our partners at Safe Kids Worldwide. Learn more about the Up and Away Campaign.

Keep your child safe. Store medicine up and away and out of sight from your child every time.
Store your medicine up and away and out of sight every time.
Medication Lockbox shown with cabinet locks
Medication lockbox for safe medication storage

Medication Safety Tips:

  • Designate a single location for all medication to be stored in the home that your child cannot reach. Remember, children can climb! Ideally, this is a lockable cabinet, box, etc.
  • Always replace the cap using the child resistant lid on prescription bottles. Remember, child resistant does not meet child-proof!
  • Keep medicine in the original package/bottle. Re-packaging can lead to dosing errors. It is also important to reference ingredients, dose information, and quantity of medication if you ever have to contact the poison center. 
  • Be mindful of visitors and guests who may come to your home with medication in purses and suitcases. Store these safely while visiting.
  • Looking for a medication lockbox or lockbag? These are great options, especially while traveling. Visit Tom Sargent Safety Center at Doernbecher Children's Hospital to find what you need. Safety Center Resources and Safety Store.