Safe methods of disposal are needed for expired or unwanted medicines. Improper disposal of medicines presents both a public safety and environmental hazard. Summit County Public Health, in collaboration with local community partners, has established a pharmaceutical disposal program for residents to safely dispose of their unused medications. Anyone can simply take unwanted medicine to one of the 18 D.U.M.P. box locations in the county and the medication will be safely destroyed, no questions asked.
Prescription drug abuse by teens is a serious problem in Ohio. An Ohio Department of Health report indicates that 26.5% of high school students have abused prescription drugs. Many teens think these drugs are safe because they have legitimate uses, but taking them without a prescription to get high or "self-medicate" can be as dangerous and addictive as using illegal street drugs. Painkillers are the most common pharmaceuticals abused by teens. Stimulant abuse is more common among older teens and college students than younger teens.
Expired or unwanted medicines flushed down the toilet are reaching streams, lakes and our drinking water supplies. Some fish and amphibians that have been exposed to waters contaminated by medications show signs of developmental and reproductive problems. Many medications pass through our sewage treatment plans and septic systems. Antibiotic residuals can be harmful to sewage treatment facilities.
Guidelines for Disposal of Unused Medications
- Please follow these guidelines when disposing of prescription and over-the-counter medications:
- Keep the medicines in the original container.
- Black out or remove your name and address.
- Secure the container.
- Deposit the medicines in the disposal boxes at participating Summit County sites.
- Only deposit pills, capsules, or liquids. Syringes are not accepted at the D.U.M.P. boxes. For syringe disposal, call 330.926.5600.