Dispose of unused or expired medications on Drug Take Back Day

October 23, 2017

On Saturday, October 28 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., community members can drop off unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs as Montgomery County once again participates in the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

County law enforcement agencies and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Office are co-sponsoring the effort. This is a safe, free and anonymous opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs and is part of a national effort to prevent the increasing problems of prescription drug abuse and theft that continues to occur nationwide.

Drop-off locations will be open to the general public throughout MontgomeryCounty. These locations will accept prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications only. Liquids, illicit drugs, needles, sharps and syringes cannot be accepted as part of this take-back program. Officers will staff collection boxes in the parking lots of the following facilities or in facility lobbies:


Collection Sites:

Montgomery County Police Department:

  • 2nd District– 7359 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda
  • 3rd District – 1001 Milestone Drive, Silver Spring
  • 4th District – 2300 Randolph Road, Wheaton
  • 5th District – 20000 Aircraft Drive, Germantown
  • 6th District – 45 West Watkins Mill Road, Gaithersburg

Asbury Methodist Village, Lobby of the Hefner Bldg. – 417 Russell Avenue, Gaithersburg

Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington – 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville

Chevy Chase Village Police Station – 5906 Connecticut Avenue, Chevy Chase

Damascus Library – 9701 Main Street

Fire Station 1 – 8110 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring

Gaithersburg Police Station – 14 Fulks Corner Avenue

Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack – 7915 Montrose Road, Rockville

Rockville City Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office – 2 W. Montgomery Avenue, Rockville

Senior Living at Kentlands Manor – 217 Booth Street, Gaithersburg

Takoma Park Police Department – 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, 20912

Village of Friendship Heights Community Center – 4433 S. Park Avenue


The Montgomery County law enforcement community is particularly interested in medications containing controlled substances but will accept any medications brought for disposal. All sites will take pills and medication patches of all kinds. If possible, prescription labels should be removed or personal information should be blacked out; however, pill bottles will still be accepted if the labels are attached. No questions will be asked. This is an opportunity to safely empty out a medicine cabinet of drugs that are no longer needed.

All the returned medications on Drug Take-Back day will be destroyed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.


What do I do if I can’t attend the event?

You may put medicine which is expired or no longer needed into the regular household trash.

Special disposal as household hazardous waste is not necessary.

  1. Place unwanted or expired medication into a sealable plastic bag or other empty container to prevent liquid medications from leaking out.
  2. Mix with kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust. (Liquid medications can be solidified using kitty litter or sawdust.)
  3. Seal the bag and/or container.
  4. Put the bag and/or container containing the medication into your regular household trash.
  5. Remove the label with the patient’s name from the original medicine vial or bottle.
  6. Place the empty plastic vial or bottle into your blue recycling bin. Empty aerosol inhalers can be recycled in your recycling bin, too.

Do not dispose of medicine by pouring it down the drain or into a toilet, unless the label or patient instructions specifically advise this.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that a very small list of extremely powerful narcotic pain relievers and other controlled substances should be disposed by flushing them down the toilet if these drugs cannot be disposed of through a drug take-back program. View the current FDA list.

For additional information on how proper disposal of lots of common (and uncommon) materials, visit the DEP’s Division of Solid Waste Services website.


22 comments on "Dispose of unused or expired medications on Drug Take Back Day"

  1. Nancy Klothe says:

    I think October 28 is a Sunday. Is this the correct date or should the Drug Take-Back Day be Saturday the 27th?

  2. jjones says:

    The blog was originally dated for 2017, but I will update it for 2018. The 2018 date is October 27, 2018. Thanks for asking and helping us update the post!

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