How to dispose of prescription drugs safely

Why should you dispose your prescription drugs?

Medicine left over from a doctor’s prescription can be abused or misused. Abuse of some prescription drugs has become a real problem in our community. It can also be hazardous for you to use leftover drugs for something other than for the illness your doctor prescribed them in the first place.

Three ways to safely dispose of prescription drugs in Carson City

For information, contact:
Diana Alonso
Community Health Worker and Outreach Coordinator
775-841-4730 x200

Note: If you are looking for information on proper disposal of drugs and previously worked with Cruz, please contact Diana going forward.

Follow the doctor’s directions

  • You’re the one:

    Medications should be taken only by the person to whom the medication was prescribed. Don’t take more than instructed by your doctor. It is important that you take your medicine at the dosage and time directed on the prescription.

  • Ask your doctor:

    If you have questions about your prescription, including whether non-opioid options are available, ask your doctor or other health care provider.

  • Do not share:

    Do not share or take someone else’s medication. Don’t take medications for any purpose not prescribed by your doctor.

  • Out with the old:

    Dispose of any medications that have passed their expiration date or that you no longer need.

  • Keep them safe:

    Always keep medication in the original container. Secure your medicine cabinet.

  • Out of sight:

    Keep medications out of sight of children and young adults. Return medication to a secure place after every use, so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

  • Lock them up:

    You may need a medicine safe, or a locked medicine cabinet to make sure powerful drugs don’t get in the wrong hands. A “medicine safe” may be purchased for as little as $20, or a locking wall-mounted cabinet costs around $200. They will not only deter thieves but give you peace of mind that children won’t accidentally get their hands on potentially dangerous medications. Do not keep loose pills in containers or places where children and young adults can find them. Remember, small children may mistake loose pills for candy, and teens may seek out pills for recreational use.​

A quick guide about disposing safely at home

Frequently asked questions

Have the conversation

  • Have a conversation with family members, especially children and teens, about the dangers of taking prescription opioids.​

  • Make it a rule in your family that medications always are kept in their original containers, and only the person to whom the medicine was prescribed will take it. Keep prescriptions in a secure location and dispose of them safely when no longer needed.

  • If your child or teen is prescribed a medicine, help prevent drug misuse by talking with them about how to use their medication safely, how to turn down invitations to misuse from others, and the importance of not sharing any unused medicines with others.

  • Finally, talk about the many positive ways we all can cope with the demands of life.

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