Disposing of Opioids


If you're done taking opioids but have some pills left over, it's time to get rid of them. Keeping unused pills isn't safe. They can be deadly to people or pets who may find them. But don't simply throw opioids in the trash. Here's how to dispose of them safely.

Authorized collection site

One of the best ways to get rid of your opioids is to give them to an authorized collection site. Your nearest site may be at a local pharmacy or hospital. You can check with local authorities to find a site near you.

Take-back programs

There are other disposal options, too. Some collection services allow you to send pills in a special envelope through the mail. And, your community may hold an annual pill take-back event.

Flushing your pills

If these options aren't right for you, you may be able to flush your pills down the toilet. But first make sure they can be safely flushed away. The FDA keeps a list of medications approved for flushing. Find it online. If your drug is listed, go ahead and flush it.

Remove the label

And finally, before you get rid of pill bottles, always remove the label. Make sure no one can gather info about you from an old pill bottle.


If you have other questions about opioid disposal, talk to your healthcare provider.