Safe Disposal

Take Meds Back Disposal Options

Take Meds Back helps Coloradans safely dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. Safe disposal keeps meds like opioids, sedatives, and stimulants from being misused or abused. It also helps protect Colorado’s precious environment and wildlife. The best way to get rid of household medications is to take them to the nearest secure collection box. Communities, pharmacies, and government and law enforcement agencies are working together to install secure drop boxes across Colorado. Use this page to find the medication collection box closest to you!

Find Permanent Collection Boxes

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is establishing permanent household medication collection box locations around the state.

Find A Take-Back Event

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. The day gives you a chance to take unused meds to a safe and convenient location near you.

Home Disposal

When you can’t access one of the take-back locations, do not flush your medicine and do not give it to friends or family to dispose for you. Follow the steps below to put it in the trash:

  1. Remove from the original container (make sure you remove the label or cross out any identifying information).
  2. Mix with something that can’t be eaten, like kitty litter, coffee grounds, sawdust, etc.
  3. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other durable container that prevents leakage.
  4. Wrap the container in newspaper or a plain brown bag to conceal its contents. Place it in your trash the day your trash is collected.

Mail-back envelopes can be purchased at some pharmacies. Ask your pharmacist for additional information.

Needles and Sharps Disposal

The Take Meds Back program is not able to accept sharps, such as used needles, at this time. Check back here to see if that has changed, or visit for information about collection sites near you.

Unused Medicine by the Numbers:

Take Meds Back Disposal Options


  1. “Environmental Impact,”, accessed 11/17/14.