Many Americans are leaving unused medications in their medicine cabinet, where youth and individuals whom may misuse the medication may have access to it.

Non-medical use of these medications has created an epidemic of misuse and addiction. In fact, 70% of prescription pills remain unused and available for misuse. Below you can find proper storage and disposal practices for prescription medications.

A prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) is used to track the prescribing and dispensing of controlled prescription drugs to patients. This helps prevent doctor shopping.

Safe Use Practices

  • Use medications exactly as prescribed.
  • Never double up on a dose.
  • Never stop your medication without consulting with your doctor.
  • Only use medication prescribed to you.
  • Never share medications.
  • Never take someone else's medications.

Safe Storage Practices

  • Always lock up your medications
  • Keep medications in a location away from children and pets.
  • Keep medications in their prescribed bottle.
  • Immediately dispose of expired or unused medications.
  • Keep track of how many pills are in medication bottles.

Drug deactivation pouches are a great solution for proper disposal. These pouches provide a safe and environmentally friendly method to dispose of unused medications in the home as well as help to deter/prevent misuse of prescription medication. The PRC provides drug deactivation pouches to some pharmacies, law enforcement agencies, and health departments in Service Area 21.

What is a Prescription Drop Box?

With the growing concern for misuse of prescription medication and over the counter drugs, several local law enforcement offices have teamed up with community coalitions to provide free standing permanent drug disposal boxes throughout Southeast Missouri. These drop boxes are located in law enforcement’s lobbies. A full list of dropbox locations can be found on the Prescription Drop Box Locations page.

These drop boxes allow community members to contribute to the prevention of prescription and over the counter drug misuse. The boxes are monitored and maintained by law enforcement, offering a place to drop off expired, unused, and unwanted medication with no questions asked. Once the unwanted medications are dropped into the box, they cannot be removed or accessed by anyone, except law enforcement.

What are the Advantages of Using a Drop Box?

  • The unused and/or expired medication, over the counter medication, and prescription medication can be dropped off safely and anonymously.
  • Unused drugs are kept out of the hands of unintended users.
  • Reduced pollution; drugs received in dropboxes are incinerated, not flushed.
Parker 204/205
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 7650
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701