Health Department

What To Do With Unwanted and Expired Medicine/Sharps


There are several options for properly disposing of unwanted and expired medications:


  • Unwanted medications may be taken to your local unwanted medicine take-back collection programs [PDF]. Additional locations may also be found from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Controlled Substance Public Disposal Locations Search Utility.

  • Many of Indiana's local household hazardous waste collection programs accept unwanted medicine. Some counties hold household hazardous waste collection days, where prescription and over-the-counter drugs are accepted at a central location for proper disposal.

  • Some pharmacies offer for sale postage-paid envelopes that are used to mail in non-controlled substances for disposal.

  • Most take-back sites do not accept syringes for destruction. Information on proper needle disposal is available on the Recycle Indiana: Household Needles and Sharps page.

  • Preferred disposal methods vary based on the given medication(s).

  • School nurses who are in possession of leftover and unclaimed medications should seek assistance from the school-based law enforcement officer (such as the school resource officer) and the school contact for waste disposal. Additional information is available on the Disposal of Unused Medication in Schools fact sheet (available on the IDEM Fact Sheets page)


Remember, it is illegal to give controlled substances to anyone other than a police officer or a person who is under law enforcement supervision. All programs that accept controlled substances must be operated under the supervision of law enforcement.


For LOCAL information regarding safe medication/sharps disposal:


sharps .jpg


For more information regarding safe medication disposal:


Cindy A. Murphy, RN

Administrator / Nursing & Vital Records Director

116 W Washington St, Suite B202 Lebanon, IN 46052

Office Hours

8 AM - 4 PM

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