Medicine enters water systems when unused medicines (prescription and over-the-counter) are flushed down the toilet, dumped in a sink or excreted through urine. Pharmaceutical manufacturing officials say that contamination with trace elements of drugs isn’t harmful to human life or the environment, but many scientists disagree. Currently, the federal government doesn’t require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits for drugs in water. And most water treatment systems are NOT engineered to remove pharmaceuticals.

Disposal of Controlled Substances and Narcotics

There are no state or county procedures in place. Please follow these practices for the safest disposal.

  • DO NOT FLUSH and DO NOT POUR unused medications down a toilet, sink or drain.
  • Responsibly dispose of controlled substances or narcotics in household trash, ensuring you are taking precautions to protect children and pets from potential harm.
  • Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag or container. If medication is solid, crush and add water to dissolve.
  • Add something non-toxic to the bag or container to make it unpalatable and less appealing to children or pets (kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds, etc).
  • Seal the bag or container and put it in the regular trash.
  • Be sure to remove and destroy all identifying personal information from prescription labels and containers before throwing away or recycling.
  • Consult your pharmacist with any questions.

Please note: Good Day Pharmacy does not accept medications or sharps/needles. For more information, please contact your county’s hazardous waste management department, or visit these websites for more information: