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What should I do with old medication?


Please DO NOT flush unwanted medications down the toilet. Medicine 


  • The Howard County Police Department and HC Drug Free have unveiled three permanent medication disposal boxes in an effort to assist residents in disposing of unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications safely and anonymously. These are available daily and year-round.  They are located at the Northern District Station (3410 Courthouse Drive in Ellicott City), Southern District Station (11226 Scaggsville Road in Laurel) and Gary Arthur Community Center (2400 Route 97 in Cooksville). Questions? Call 410-313-3200.
  • Place the pills in a plastic zip-top bag with coffee grounds, flour or kitty litter and put the bag in your regular trash. This makes the medicines undesirable and prevents toxins from contaminating our drinking water.
  • Local pharmacies may offer take-back or mail-in programs. For example, Rite Aid, CVS ($3.99), Walgreens ($2.99) and Giant sell prepaid envelopes that can be filled with unwanted medication and mailed to a disposal facility.
  • Looking outside of Howard County? Take advantage of government-sponsored programs when available. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has offered prescription drug take-back programs. Visit www.dea.gov for information.
  • Visit www.disposemymeds.org for additional information and details about prescription donation sites.

Once you have safely disposed of the medication, you can recycle your empty medicine bottles.