Prescription drugs are often strong medications, which is why they require a prescription in the first place. When abused, they can be just as dangerous as drugs that are made illegally.

This Saturday, October 22 is National Prescription Drug Take-back Day. Show you care. Don’t Share! From 10am – 2pm you can drop off old medications to various drop off locations around Vermont. Go to to look up a full list of ALL medication drop off locations available in Vermont.

Why should you properly dispose of or lock up unused or expired medications?

Every medication has some risk for harmful effects, sometimes serious ones. Doctors consider the potential benefits and risks to each patient before prescribing medications and take into account a lot of different factors – such as personal information, form and use of the drug and the side effects. Proper disposal of medication is important in protecting our children, community and the environment from prescription drug misuse.

  • Children: Each day in the US, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time (from Partnership for a Drug Free America). In 2015, 11% of Vermont teens reported taking a pain reliever or stimulant not prescribed to them. Studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friend.
  • Community: Keep unsafe drug in safe hands. The safety of our community is at risk when medications are improperly thrown away or left in medicine cabinets as they can be attractive to drug dealers and addicts.
  • Environment: Medications flushed or poured down the drain have found their way into our lakes, rivers and streams. Most water treatment plants or septic tanks are not designed to remove these chemicals. Research done by the UVM Legislative Research service in 2011 found measurable levels of pharmaceutical waste in Lake Champlain.

What can you do?

  1. Show you care. Don’t share medication.
  2. Dispose of your unused medications safely at a local disposal site.
  3. Secure all medications in your home
  4. Monitor all medications in your home to ensure they are used as directed and only by those to whom they are prescribed.
  5. Talk to your kids about the dangers of prescription drugs. The Medicine Abuse Project has great information and tips for talking with teens about this important issue. Disposal is free and anonymous. For more information about proper disposal and medication safety visit

For FREE ongoing disposal of unused or expired medications, bring medications in pill form to either of the following locations:

  • Burlington Police Department- 1 North Avenue, Monday–Friday from 
7:00am – 4:15pm. Drop in the medication disposal box located in the administrative lobby. No questions asked. Full confidentiality.
  • Walgreens Pharmacy- 514 Farrell Street, During store hours, Drop in the medication disposal box located next to the pharmacy counter.

Supported by the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community and local law enforcement.

Subscribe to Our Blog