Prescription Medications: Safe Storage and Disposal

DEA Get Smart About Drugs OTC Resource

Don’t be an accidental drug dealer…

61% of people ages 12 and older who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from a friend or family member. Visit to find out where you can get a free drug-deactivation pouch to safely dispose of your prescription medications.


Prescription Drug Abuse

The abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicines is the fastest growing form of substance abuse. Locking your medications and disposing of unneeded medications are two important ways of helping prevent access to those who might abuse them.

Medication Take Backs

Medication take-back events provide an environmentally safe way to dispose of unneeded medications and keep them from being diverted for possible misuse.

What can you bring?  Expired and unused over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs. NO NEEDLES/SHARPS! Leave medications in original containers.

Although take-backs provide the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of medications, if you can’t make a take-back event, there are safe ways for you to dispose of your medications at home.

The Chesterfield Police Department, in partnership with SAFE, has collected over 19,000 pounds of medications, from 3,915 citizens, since take-back events began in 2010.

Nationally, prescription drug abuse kills more teens than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines combined.

The 2014 survey of youth in Chesterfield County revealed that the percentage of youths abusing prescription narcotics, stimulants, sedatives and tranquilizers is still above national averages, but the data does show some decline in the percentage of medication abuse among students since our 2012 survey.  More Chesterfield youths are still abusing over-the-counter medications, such as cough medicine, more than are abusing prescription medications.

Friends and family are the most common source of medications misused by youths in the U.S. Around 70 percent of youths who reported misusing prescription stimulants, tranquilizers or sedatives in the past year said that they most recently obtained the medication from friends or family, with or without their permission.

Free Medication Disposal Pouches Available in Chesterfield County!

‘Don’t Be An Accidental Drug Dealer’ campaign urges proper disposal of unwanted or expired medications

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic and drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.

Through the month of March, Chesterfield County is promoting the proper disposal of expired or unused medications through its “Don’t Be An Accidental Drug Dealer” campaign, which provides free medication disposal pouches for pick-up at various locations throughout the county.

The biodegradable bag can be safely disposed of in the trash.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 61 percent of people ages 12 and older who misuse and abuse prescription pain relievers receive them from friends or family members. That’s why it’s so important to properly dispose of expired or unused medications.

Residents can pick up their free medication disposal pouches at the following locations:

Chesterfield County Health Department – 9501 Lucy Corr Circle
Chesterfield County Department of Mental Health Support Services – 6801 Lucy Corr Blvd.
Chesterfield County Police Department offices
Police Administration Building Lobby Desk, 10001 Iron Bridge Road
o Midlothian Station: 20 North Providence Road

o Chester Station: 2920 West Hundred Road

o Hull Street Station: 6812 Woodlake Commons Loop

o Falling Creek Station: 5701 Jefferson Davis Highway

Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, Community Outreach Office, Main Courts Building, – 9500 Courthouse Road
Chesterfield County Administration Building Lobby Desk – 9901 Lori Road
Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation
o Bensley Recreation Center, 2900 Drewry’s Bluff Road

o Ettrick Recreation Center, 20621 Woodpecker Road

o Stonebridge Recreation Center, 230 Karl Linn Drive

Chesterfield County Public Library locations:
o Bon Air Library – 9103 Rattlesnake Road

o Chester Library – 11800 Centre St.

o Clover Hill Library – 6701 Deer Run Drive

o Enon Library – 1801 Enon Church Road

o Ettrick-Matoaca Library – 4501 River Road

o LaPrade Library – 9000 Hull Street Road

o Meadowdale Library – 4301 Meadowdale Blvd.

o Midlothian Library – 521 Coalfield Road

o North Courthouse Road Library – 325 Courthouse Road

Additionally, residents are encouraged to participate in the next Medication Take Back event, hosted by the DEA, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 25 at Wegmans, located at 12501 Stone Village Way in Midlothian.

Expired and unused medications also can be safely disposed of year-round using the disposal box at the Chesterfield Police Headquarters at 10001 Iron Bridge Road.

Learn more ways to ‘Not Be An Accidental Drug Dealer’ by visiting

What can parents do?

  • Educate yourself: Learn what types of prescription drugs can be abused. Ask the doctor or pharmacist when you receive a prescription whether it has the potential for abuse.
  • Talk with your teen: Find out what they know about the prescription drug or cough medicine abuse. Teens often think that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs, which is not true.
  • Set clear rules: Tell your teen to never take medications that have not been prescribed for them, share their medications with others or take their own medications in greater quantities than prescribed.
  • Safeguard all drugs at home: Control access by keeping prescription drugs in a locked container or cabinet, especially pain pills, anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, stimulants such as Adderal and other abusable meds such as over-the-counter cough medicines, and monitor quantities. Ask friends and family to safeguard their medications as well.
  • Dispose of old or unused medicines: Do not flush drugs down the toilet. Mix with an undesirable substance such as used coffee grounds, place in a sealed bag or container and discard in the trash. Better yet, take them to a medication take-back.