Prescription drugs

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality encourages Oregonians to take part in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, April 30 starting at 10 a.m.

Drug take-back events provide safe, free and convenient disposal options to keep drugs out of the wrong hands and out of waterways.

Leftover or expired drugs can pose serious human health and environmental risks. Drugs left in a household can lead to accidental poisonings and abuse. Drugs thrown in the garbage or flushed down the toilet or drain can release chemical compounds that end up in rivers or groundwater and pose a risk to human health, fish and wildlife.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration, along with state and federal law enforcement partners, have organized the national drug take-back collection events since 2010 and have collected a total of 6,350 tons of expired and unwanted prescription drugs.

Last fall, DEA collected nearly 744,100 pounds (372 tons) of expired or unwanted prescription drugs, including 4,760 pounds from Oregon. Click here to locate a free prescription drug take-back event.

For those unable to participate in the event, properly disposing of unwanted medicine has never been easier in Oregon, thanks to the Oregon Drug Take-Back Program, which launched last summer.

The program offers residents convenient, free ways to safely dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Options include:

  • Take your unwanted household drugs to a drop-off site: You can take your unwanted medicines to a participating drop-off site and dispose of them in the on-site secure repository. You don't need to talk to anyone, show ID, or fill out any paperwork to use the drop-off site.
  • Mail-back: You can mail in your unused medication for disposal through a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope.

You can locate a participating drop-off site or find out how to obtain a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope by visiting or calling 1 (844) 482-5322 or 1 (844) 4-TAKE-BACK.


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