Safe Handling of Medications Year-Round


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Safe handling and proper disposal of medicines prevents drug abuse and protects the environment.

Handling Your Medicine Safely

  • Keep track of and secure your medications.
  • Keep the medications in their original containers (to help identify the contents if they are accidentally swallowed).
  • Read the material provided with all prescribed medications to know how to use them safely.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about any possible risks, especially for abuse.
  • Talk to your children. Let them know to never take medications without your knowledge.

Proper Disposal

proper disposal of medications

flushing down the toilet

  • When disposing of drugs, cross out your name and prescription number on the container.
  • Pills: add some salt water to start dissolving them.
  • Liquids: mix in something inedible like dirt, ash or cat litter.
  • Seal the container and secure the seal with duct tape or packing tape.
  • Put the container in the trash close to pick-up time. Do NOT put it in the recycling bin.
  • Do NOT flush unused medications down the toilet www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/dontflush.
  • Learn how to properly dispose of home-generated medical waste by visiting the Sharps and Medical waste page.

Watch our safe medicine disposal video or visit the Health Department's "Don't Flush" page for more information about proper disposal of medications.


Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 836, Fairfax, VA 22035-1100
Phone: 703-324-7000 | Fax: 703-324-7092 | TTY: 711

24-Hour CSB Emergency Services
Phone: 703-573-5679 | TTY: 703-207-7737
Contact the CSB by Email

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