Back to Top Skip to main content

Moving? Toss unwanted or expired medications appropriately

Many service members and their families are gearing up to move this summer. As you organize your house and belongings to prepare for your move, one area of your home you shouldn’t overlook is your medicine cabinet. (U.S. Navy photo) Many service members and their families are gearing up to move this summer. As you organize your house and belongings to prepare for your move, one area of your home you shouldn’t overlook is your medicine cabinet. (U.S. Navy photo)

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Many service members and their families are gearing up to move this summer as peak moving season runs May through August each year. As you organize your house and belongings to prepare for your move, one area of your home you shouldn’t overlook is your medicine cabinet. Now is the perfect time to get rid of items that are expired or no longer needed. With the Military Health System Drug Take Back program, you can safely and easily dispose of unwanted and expired medications at U.S. military pharmacies.

Two options for safe drug disposal

There are two free options for beneficiaries to dispose of their prescription and over-the-counter drugs safely.

  • Drop off old or expired drugs in secure collection boxes at military pharmacies. Send them by mail in a special envelope available at the military pharmacy.
  • To find out which Drug Tack Back option your pharmacy has, contact your military hospital or clinic.

Accepted and non-accepted drugs

As you go through your medicine cabinet, you’ll want to know what the pharmacy accepts and what they don’t. Accepted drugs through the Drug Take Back program include:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter drugs 
  • Pills, tablets, capsules
  • Ointments
  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Powders
  • Liquid medicines (no more than 4 oz.)

For other items you want to toss, dispose of them properly by following other safe disposal options. The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides guidance for how to dispose of items not accepted through military pharmacies.

Benefits of safe drug disposal

Removing medications from your home helps prevent accidental drug misuse and drug abuse by family members and visitors to your home. More than 60,000 children in the U.S. go to the emergency room every year for accidentally swallowing medications. More than 70 percent of prescription drug abuse involves drugs obtained from a friend or relative. Getting rid of unused drugs keeps them out of the hands of children and others. The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides more drug facts.

Another important reason for practicing safe drug disposal is that it reduces the amount of chemicals that can get into the environment. Flushing unused drugs down the toilet may seem like a safe and easy solution, but it’s not encouraged. Unwanted drugs can get into drinking water systems and landfills if not disposed of properly.

Practicing good drug disposal habits benefits you, your family, and your community. If your medicine cabinet is full of expired or unneeded drugs, participate in a Drug Take Back option near you. While moving season is an easy time to do it, you can safely dispose of unwanted drugs year round. For more information on how to safely dispose of drugs through the Drug Take Back program, visit the TRICARE website.

You also may be interested in...

DHA PI 6025.25: Military Health System (MHS) Drug Take Back (DTB) Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (g): - Describes procedures for MHS organizations to offer beneficiaries the option of returning their controlled and non-controlled prescriptions and over-the-counter medications for disposal through a DTB program. The DTB program will provide an environmentally safe method for beneficiaries to properly and safely remove unused and expired medications from circulation, including medications that can be used for suicide or suicide attempts and have the potential for misuse, diversion, or accidental poisoning. - Details the tasks and procedures necessary to ensure successful implementation of the MHS DTB program within military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs).

New year, new medicine cabinet

Article
1/13/2017
The Military Health System has a drug take back program to help service members and their families dispose of their medications safely. The Department of Justice also has a national take-back initiative. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Valerie Monroy)

Many of our medicine cabinets have bottles of prescribed and over-the-counter medications that are expired or that we no longer use

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program | Substance Abuse

DoD makes prescription drug disposal easy for beneficiaries

Article
9/15/2016
Defense Department health care beneficiaries can now safely and easily dispose of expired and unused medications by bringing them to a military treatment facility or, in some cases, picking up a mailing envelope from the installation to send for destruction of the medications free of charge. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The new Drug Take Back program allows for disposal of expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Look Familiar?

Infographic
9/13/2016
Infographic showing a stash of prescription and OTC drugs...says "Look Familiar? Might be time to clean out your medicine cabinet."

If you have a stash of unused prescription or over-the-counter drugs, it might be time to clean out your medicine cabinet.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Military Health System Drug Take Back Option

Video
9/13/2016
Military Health System Drug Take Back Option

Watch this video to learn more about the Military Health System Drug Take Back option.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Military Drug Take Back Program offers safe drug disposal

Article
9/12/2016
Excess prescription and over-the-counter drugs can pose a serious risk in your home. The Military Health System is helping the military community fight back against the dangers of unneeded, unused and expired drugs by offering Drug Take Back at U.S. military pharmacies. Most pharmacies have fixed containers in place where you can drop off excess drugs. Airman 1st Class Hannah McDonald, 1st Special Operations Medical Squadron pharmacy apprentice, disposes of an unwanted prescription in to a container in the pharmacy lobby on Hurlburt Field, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

The Military Health System is helping the military community fight back against the dangers of unneeded, unused and expired drugs

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program | Substance Abuse

Drug Take Back Program

Infographic
9/12/2016
Infographic about the Drug Take Back Program

Drop off unused, unneeded or expired drugs at military pharmacies in the U.S. and U.S. Territories.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

It's Time to Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet?

Infographic
9/12/2016
Inforgraphic of a young child playing with medicine bottles.

Is it time to clean out your medicine cabinet? Your local military pharmacy now offers drug take back options.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Been a while since you emptied your medicine cabinet?

Infographic
9/12/2016
Infographic showing a full medicine cabinet.

Is it time to clean out your medicine cabinet? Your local military pharmacy now offers drug take back options.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Don't Rush to Flush

Infographic
9/12/2016
Infographic about not flushing meds down the toilet.

Military pharmacies now offer drug take back. Don't flush unused meds ... instead dispose of them at your military pharmacy.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet!

Infographic
9/12/2016
Infographic listing the items than can and can't be disposed of at military pharmacies.

Military pharmacies in the U.S. and U.S. Territories now offer drug take back options. See what you can and can't dispose of at a military pharmacy near you.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

1 in 9

Infographic
9/12/2016
Infographic stating one in nine service members report that they abuse prescription meds.

Did you know? 1 in 9 Service members report abusing prescription drugs.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Drug Take Back Poster 1: Look Familiar?

Poster
9/12/2016

1 of 3 posters for the MHS Drug Take Back program.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Drug Take Back Poster 2: Dangerous

Poster
9/12/2016

2 of 3 posters for the MHS Drug Take Back program.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program

Drug Take Back Poster 3: Safe and Secure

Poster
9/12/2016

3 of 3 posters for the MHS Drug Take Back program.

Recommended Content:

Drug Take Back Program
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.