colored_pills.jpgThe Problem

When not disposed of in a safe and environmentally responsible way, unused pharmaceuticals can create serious health and safety issues and contribute to the nationwide prescription drug abuse epidemic. Leftover medications also pose serious environmental risks if they are flushed or discarded in the trash, as they can enter our waterways, contaminating drinking water and harming aquatic life.

The Solution

One solution, commonly known as drug take-back, is a simple and convenient way for consumers to dispose of their unused and expired medicines safely and responsibly. Drug take-back programs make leftover meds inaccessible to children, pets, and potential abusers. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as well as some police stations, pharmacies, community organizations, and local government agencies, sponsor various take-back programs. However, these programs are not currently accessible to all. As a result, most medicine sold in the U.S. is improperly discarded or stored in homes indefinitely.

The Product Stewardship Institute and the Nebraska Product Stewardship Coalition are working with other key stakeholders in the state to distribute information and raise awareness about drug take-back and responsible disposal of pharmaceuticals.


Fact sheet: What should you do with leftover meds?
Nebraska MEDS Coalition
Leftover Medicine Fact Sheet
Learn about the Product Stewardship Institute’s work on drug stewardship

Are you interested in supporting drug stewardship in your community? Contact us!