Disposing of old prescription medicines: Where to take controlled substances

Many of us have old medications in our medicine cabinet, or a drawer, but how do you get rid of them?

"It's very important to get them out of your home," said Jeff Hanley, the opioid initiative program coordinator with Jefferson County Health. "Whether expired or done using, or left over, it's important to get the medications out of your home and disposed of properly."

It's believed old medications left in homes is contributing to the addiction crisis.

"Fifty-five percent of people in Colorado get medicine from friend or family member, that's just someone trying to help, or maybe not understanding that legally you can't do it, but that's misusing prescription drugs," Hanley said. "Over 40 percent of Colorado teens say it's easier to get prescription meds than it is alcohol."

Experts say you should not flush old medications down the toilet because they can impact our water supply.

Colorado is working to establish at least one permanent collection site in every Colorado county. Those locations accept controlled substances including Percocet, Vicodin and Xanax.

The collection sites include police departments, medical offices and some Walgreens locations. See the list here or use an interactive map.

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