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Disposal of Prescription Drugs and Medical Waste

Drug Drop Boxes

The Baltimore County Department of Health and the Baltimore County Police Department offer a drug "take back" program in Baltimore County. Drug drop boxes are located at all 10 police precincts and offer a safe and environmentally friendly way to dispose of prescription medications.

Drug drop boxes are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. Parents, grandparents and guardians are encouraged to take inventory of what is in their medicine cabinets, secure all unexpired medications that are genuinely needed, and use our drug drop boxes to dispose of those that are not.

Acceptable Deposits

  • Medications that are expired or no longer needed
  • Pills, capsules and liquid medications in a container
  • Non-liquid forms of medication can be disposed in their container or a zip lock bag

Unacceptable Deposits

  • All medical waste (needles, lancets, syringes, and razor blades) should be securely enclosed in a metal or plastic container and thrown in the regular trash. These items should not be place in the drug drop boxes.

Alternate Disposable Methods

If no drug tack back sites or programs are available in your area, or you cannot make it to a Drug Drop Box, you can follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in your trash at home, offered by the Food and Drug Administration:

  • Mix medications (liquids or uncrushed pills and tablets) with an unappealing substance such as dirt, cat litter, used coffee grounds, or sawdust.
  • Deposit the mixture in a sealed container such as a plastic bag.
  • Throw the sealed container into your home waste bin
  • Remove all personal information (name, address, etc.) on the prescription labels of empty medicine bottles and packaging, then dispose of the container.

Maryland Prescription Drug Repository Program

Got prescription drugs and medical supplies you no longer need? Contact one of the approved pharmacy locations to determine if your items can be donated to a needy individual.

Medical Waste Disposal

Used needles can be a health risk unless they are stored in a puncture resistant container before disposal. Bottles made of heavy plastic with screw-on caps such as detergent or fabric softener bottles are best because they are strong and have spouts that make it harder for syringes to spill out.

To avoid unnecessary needle sticks, place the following items into a closed plastic container for disposal:

  • Lancets
  • Needles
  • Razor blades
  • Syringes
  • Any other sharp object that could cut someone

Fill these containers until they are no more than two thirds full. All bags, bottles and cans with medical waste should be closed securely and put out with regular trash. Do not recycle these items. 

Explore Substance Use Services

 

Contact Us

Bureau of Behavioral Health

Drumcastle Government Center
6401 York Road, Third Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21212

Hours

Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Phone

Substance Use Help Line:
410-88-REACH (410-887-3224)

Bureau of Behavioral Health at Eastern Family Resource Center:
410-887-6465

Adolescent Treatment Services:
410-887-6465

TTY: 711

 

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