Did you know that one of the recommended ways to dispose of some opioids is to flush the unused medicine down the toilet?

More than 100 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, and millions are addicted to opioids. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched Remove the Risk, an education and outreach campaign to raise awareness about the serious risks of keeping unused prescription opioids in the home and to provide information about safe disposal of these drugs. Unused opioids—such as hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone—are dangerous to have in your home when they are no longer needed. Children or pets can accidentally take unused opioids or visitors might search for them in your drawers and medicine cabinets. Remove the risk of your unused opioids and help address the devastating opioid crisis affecting so many American families. Proper disposal of unused prescription opioids can save lives.

WHY IS OPIOID DISPOSAL IMPORTANT FOR ME AND MY FAMILY?

Prescription opioid misuse is one of the most common types of illegal drug use in the United States. Many people who misused prescription pain-reducing medicine said that they got it from a friend or relative.

HOW DO I SAFELY DISPOSE OF OPIOIDS?

Ask these questions to determine how to dispose of opioids:

  1. Is a medicine take-back option readily available? If so, this is the preferred option.
  2. If not, is the medicine on the FDA “flush list”? If it is, flush it down the toilet.
  3. Otherwise, throw it away in the household trash, following the directions at www.FDA.gov/DrugDisposal.

For information about all three of these methods, visit www.FDA.gov/DrugDisposal.