Please dispose of bottles, labels, bags, printouts that could lead a drug seeker to your door!

Please remove labels, destroy pharmacy print outs, bags, and anything that could lead a drug seeker to your door. Be safe at all times by removing labels, shredding or burning anything that would tell a dumpster diver where to find their favorite prescription drug!

Please be safe!


Most drs here will not take your unused medication. There are drop off locations at local Police Departments. My husband is a Cop so I have him take them there since we have young children in the house

Yes, and don't flush the old drugs down the toilet. I take the unused meds to Walgreens pharmacy and they have a service that disposes of them for you.

I did not know where to take mine so after taking the labels off the bottles I would add vinegar to the pills and let them sit on my dresser for a few days by then they would have become some form of liquid and usually not recogizable especially if they were colored on the outside and white on the inside. I would then seal the lid shut with super glue and throw them away, on the day that I know trash would be collected. But on empty containers I always take the labels off right away and since they still remain sticky paste them on another sheet of paper and put them thru the shredder.

Oh wow, this is an excellent post! I NEVER would have thought of this.

Also, dispose of old unused prescriptions - I accidentally got an old prescription mixed up with my current ones and took amilytriptiline along with Lyrica and something else. It knocked me out cold and I heard a weird buzzing noise as I passed out. I remember thinking, "Am I going to die?" because the buzzing was so loud and weird. It's just dumb luck that I didn't OD. I know many of you are like me and the memory fails at times, so please be sure to get those OLD MEDS that are left over out of your house so you don't do what I did.

Flushing them down the toilet could end up in having animals that come into contact with waste water getting too much of whatever is in the pills. Not pleasant or fair to them.

Yea, and then we end up eating the animals that are polluted, Petunia.

California is very careful about meds for water quality, landfill issues, and recycling safety. Pharmacies in California are supposed to take leftover meds, but sometimes they charge for the service. I found that the pharmacy in my doctor's medical building takes them for free. There are a couple of sites on the web where I've found lists of dropoff points nationwide. One is and the other is

Also, anyone in California who uses sharps (like syringes, insulin pen needle tips or blood-testing lancets) is required to dispose of them in official sharps containers (no more old bleach bottles!) and not put the container in the trash. In our county each firehouse has a dropoff point for used sharps containers. I'm glad there's a way to keep the folks who do the hard job of collecting and sorting recycles and trash from having to worry about getting pricked by a used needle.

Sk - Thanks for the warning! I did not realize that many of the meds we take can be stolen and sold on the streets!

I was completely shocked when I read a confessional article written by a woman who used to steal prescription drugs from her family, friends, neighbors, co-workers. I was horrified to read that she would steal pain killers from her friend who suffered from some major illness (like cancer or MS) and replace them with Tylenol or something. Such a crime to steal pain meds from pain sufferers!!

A few of my friends asked if they could try my Vicodin. I had to educate them that it is a fellony to share prescription drugs even with a family member because there are potential adverse reactions which can lead to health problems and even death.

I don't understand why people want to take someone else's meds...I wish I didn't have to take any medication! I would trade places with those people and they can take all of my meds.

Yes, I have worried about this since I get mail order medications. A lot of prescription bottles leave my house to go to the landfill. I try to take precautions.

Yes, you should never do that. Good point PG.

I learned this at the beginning of this year when Canada changed their pain killer laws, and people were desperate for them, since many doctors cut them off. Before I throw away my bottles, I take a black marker and sribble out the drug name on the bottle. When I get an insert or paper with the medicine, I also scribble out that before I toss it. These labels don't come off, but I am sure I've covered it with the black felt pen. Good item to bring to people's attention. Even the anxiety meds are ones drug seekers are seeking, so do the same with those.

SK, thank you for this reminder, all the posts have inspired me to clean out my med cabinet, never really thought about the fact that drug seekers can go through a trash pile ans get my info, I was just putting the pharmacy print outs in the garbage. Wow, going to start being more cautious
Hugs & blessings

Does anyone have recommendations for how to remove the labels from prescription bottles? I go through so many prescriptions that I’m looking for a very easy way. Not confidant that the sharpie will work for me.

I don't use a sharpie. I use a thick black felt pen. I just go over the prescription name, and my name, not everything on the label, and I do the same for the prescription printouts. It really does work well. I have also used a sharpie, using circular scribbles until it's all marked out, rather than just a line or 2 through the words.