Unused medications are especially concerning when there are kids in the house. There is always a risk that a child might accidentally (or even on purpose) take an old medication. This can be very dangerous depending on the medications that are hanging around long after they were needed.
Many medications are harmful to the environment if they are thrown into your household garbage. They can contaminate the soil and the water, and we don’t need three-eyed fish or mutant frogs in Oregon’s streams and rivers - not to mention the medication that can get into our drinking water!
To safely dispose of medications take them to a “Drug Take Back” site or to a “Drug Take Back Day” event. This will ensure that the medications are disposed of properly and safely.
Marion and Polk County have several permanent drug disposal boxes always available to receive unused, unwanted, and expired medications. The following locations have medication disposal containers with the most convenient hours:
- Salem Police Department on SE Liberty Street - Lobby Drop Box available all hours, all days.
- Stayton Police Department on N 3rd Street - Lobby Drop Box available all hours, all days.
- Walgreen’s on Lancaster NE - kiosk available all hours, all days.
- Salem Hospital Retail Pharmacy (Building C Lobby) Monday - Friday (Closed Holidays) from 7:30AM to 5:30PM
- Keizer Police Department on Chemawa NE and Dallas Police Department on SE Court Street - Lobby Drop Box available Monday - Friday from 8AM to 5PM
More information for Marion County locations here. Other county information from the Oregon Health Authority here. Find information on the next Drug Take Back Day at DEA here.
Finally, if a child may have taken a medication not prescribed for them, parents or caregivers should immediately call the Oregon Poison Control Center Hotline number is 800-222-1222.