Safe Disposal of Medications

Safe Disposal of Prescription Medications

What You Need To Know

 RiverSpring Health Plans is dedicated to providing our members with required information on the safe disposal of prescription drugs that are controlled substances.

Generally, unused medications should be disposed of as soon as possible. The U.S Government provides information regarding safe disposal of drugs on its website – The following is an overall description of the disposal methods:

Community take back sites – The U.S. Department of Drug Administration (DEA) recommends disposing unused controlled substances at community take back sites. The DEA website provides a complete listing of these sites. You will be receiving a letter identifying two sites near you where you can safely dispose of your medications:

To find box locations or other disposal sites, you can call the DEA’s Call Center at 1-800–882–9539, or go to

Mailing medications to other authorized sites – You can also mail unused medications to pharmacies and other authorized sites using their packaging. Information on mail-back sites can be found at

At-home medications disposal – Certain medications can be disposed in household trash, and the FDA recommends following the MPTS protocol (Mix, Place, Throw, and Scratch out):

Mix: Mix the medications with a substance like dirt, coffee grounds, or compost;
Place: Place the mix into a sealable container;
Throw: Throw the sealed container in the trash;
Scratch Out: Be sure to remove all personal information from the prescription labels and packaging. On your prescription bottle, remove or use a dark pen to mark out all identifying information such as your name and the type of medication

Last updated on April 12, 2022