If your your medicine cabinet is filled with expired drugs or medications that you no longer use, and you are concerned about detrimental environmental effects from improper disposal, here is the information that you need to properly dispose of them.

The Ewing Police Department will be participating in the DEA’s twice yearly National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.  Just go to the Ewing Police Department at 2 Jake Garzio Drive.  Enter the main door and make a left to go down the hallway to the Police Department.  Ewing Police will have an officer between 10 and 2 to take the items.

All medications are accepted, prescription and over-the-counter, as well as liquids.  Hypodermic needles are not accepted.  The disposal is handled completely securely; all accepted medications with any labels that you leave on the containers are placed in a large cardboard box, lined with plastic.  At the end of the day the contents are taken to the prosecutor’s office.  The DEA will pick up and incinerate.

Guidelines for Drug Disposal

If you are unable to participate on the day the FDA’s guidelines for proper drug disposal follow:

  • Follow any specific disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that accompanies the medication. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.
  • If no instructions are given on the drug label and no take-back program is available in your area, take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter — to make the medication less appealing and unrecognizable — then put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

You should also remove any identifying information on the label to protect your identity and privacy.

Despite the safety reasons for flushing drugs, some people are questioning the practice because of concerns about trace levels of drug residues found in surface water, such as rivers and lakes, and in some community drinking water supplies. However, the main way drug residues enter water systems is by people taking medications and then naturally passing them through their bodies.  That said, the FDA does not want to add drug residues into water systems unnecessarily. The agency reviewed its drug labels to identify products with disposal directions recommending flushing or disposal down the sink. This continuously revised listing can be found at FDA’s Web page on Disposal of Unused Medicines.

National Take Back Day Information

Date: April 30, 2016
Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Ewing Police Department, 2 Jake Garzio Drive