Safe Medication Disposal FAQ's

Keep YOU and your family safe with proper medication disposal!

Where can I dispose of my medications?

Check to see if there are any drug take-back programs near you. If there is not a program near you, follow the steps in the “Disposal at Home” section below to dispose of unwanted drugs. To find the nearest medication disposal location, call the New Mexico Poison & Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222

Why do I need to properly dispose of my unused medications?

It isn’t safe to flush drugs down drains or throw them out in the trash. Drugs flushed down drains can harm the water supply that we drink, and wildlife. Dispose of drugs the right way to prevent someone from taking them by accident, or illegally. Protect children and pets from harm caused by accidental ingestion.

Disposal At Home

  • Before disposing, mark out your personal information on the bottle for privacy.
  • Add water to pills to dissolve them. Then,
  • Mix pills or liquid drugs with something that you can’t eat, like cat litter or dirt.
  • Close the lid and secure with duct or packing tape.
  • Place the bottle inside a non-see-through container like a coffee can or detergent bottle.
  • Tape that container closed.
  • Hide the container in the trash. Do not put in the recycle bin.

Prevent drug misuse, abuse, and accidental poisonings

Make a difference by following these DOs and DON’Ts:


  • DO keep medications in the original container and out of sight and reach of children and pets.

  • DO store your medications in a secure area. Consider a cabinet or drawer that you can lock.

  • DO check the date on everything in your medicine cabinet and dispose of anything that has expired.

  • DO check to see which medications need to be refrigerated. Make sure they are stored where they will not freeze and where children cannot easily reach them.


  • DON’T take medications in front of children; they like to mimic adults.

  • DON’T give your medications to others to or take someone else’s medications.

  • DON’T put different medications into one bottle.

  • DON’T store medications in places that are hot and humid.

  • DON’T take a medication that looks different (i.e. color, shape, size, etc.) than you are used to without checking with your pharmacist.

Ask your Southwest CARE Center pharmacist about donating full, sealed bottles of medications to be used by those in need. For questions, call Southwest CARE Center Pharmacy 1-505-989-8154