Unused Medicine Disposal Resources

Drug Disposal Kits Available 

 As outlined in a news release from the Virginia Attorney General's office on November 10, 2016, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • Half of young people who used heroin got started by abusing prescription opioids.
  • One in fifteen individuals who misuse prescription opioid painkillers will try heroin within ten years.
  • The number of opioid prescriptions has nearly tripled over the last 25 years, and the United States now accounts from nearly 100 percent of the world's hydrocodone prescriptions and 81 percent for oxycodone.
  • The number of Americans abusing heroin nearly doubled from 2007 to 2012, with nearly 700,000 now abusing heroin.
In Virginia, abuse and overdose deaths continue to rise:
  • Prescription opioid overdose deaths have risen 44 percent between 2007 and 2015, from 399 deaths to 576.
  • Heroin overdose deaths have risen more than 600 percent between 2010 and 2015, from 48 to 342.
  • Fentanyl deaths have risen 367 percent from 2007 to 2015, from 48 to 224.
  • More than 500 people went to a Virginia emergency room from a heroin overdose in the first four months of 2016, a 250% increase over 2015.
Attorney General Mark R. Herring has secured the donation of 80,000 drug deactivation kits capable of safely disposing of 3.6 million leftover prescription pills. Kits are being distributed at Virginia Department of Health Clinics, Community Service Boards, and law enforcement, healthcare, and nonprofit agencies in every community in Virginia. The kits are free.

Permanent Prescription Drug Disposal Locations

To help residents dispose of unused/expired medicines, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) maintains a database of permanent locations where you can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs and other items.

At these locations you can drop off the following:

  • Prescriptions
  • Prescription Patches
  • Prescription Medicines
  • Prescription Ointments
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Vitamins
  • Samples
  • Medications for pets

The following are NOT accepted:

  • Thermometers
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Inhalers
  • Aerosol Cans
  • Ointments, Lotions or Fluids
  • Medication from Businesses
  • Needles/EpiPens (Sharps)

Other On-Line Resources

US Food & Drug Administration
Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know

US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Drug Disposal Information

Virginia Department of Health
How to Dispose of Unused Medicine

Treatment Information

The Commonwealth of Virginia provides a web site intended as a comprehensive resource for all Virginians in the fight against opioid misuse and overdose throughout the Commonwealth.