Don’t toss your old medicine; turn it in

  • By Sarah Jackson Herald Writer
  • Friday, August 20, 2010 7:13pm
  • Life

It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet.

Many prescription drugs are as dangerous and addictive as street drugs, so you don’t want to keep them around without a good reason, especially if you have kids.

Six of 10 teens agree that drugs are easy to get from parents’ medicine cabinets, according to The Partnership for a Drug Free America.

But, you might be wondering, what is the best way to dispose of these chemicals?

Do not flush them down the toilet: They’ll end up polluting local waterways.

Do not crush or dilute the drugs and mix them with cat litter, as some health authorities have suggested. It is not safe to crush drugs because of a risk of skin irritation or accidental inhalation. Also, medicine is not supposed to go in the garbage in Snohomish County.

Fortunately, Snohomish County has one of the most extensive medicine-return programs in the country.

Residents can take a variety of unwanted medications, including prescription narcotics, to 28 local police departments. If you don’t need to unload narcotics or controlled substances such as Vicodin and OxyContin, you can take your unused drugs to one of five pharmacies in the area:

Bartell Drugs: 23028 100th Ave. W., Edmonds; Frontier Village, 621 Highway 9, Lake Stevens; 17633 Highway 99, Lynnwood.

Group Health Cooperative: 2930 Maple St., Everett; 20200 54th Ave. W., Lynnwood.

They will accept prescription and over-the-counter medications and samples, medications for pets, medicated ointments and lotions, vitamins, inhalers and unopened EpiPens.

They will not accept needles or syringes, thermometers, IV bags, personal care products such as toothpaste, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, used EpiPens, iodine solutions or empty drug containers.

Narcotics: Participating pharmacies and police stations accept a variety of drugs, but narcotics are accepted only at police stations.

Black out personal information on containers, but not the name of the medication.

Learn more

Search for “unwanted medication” for a complete list of police-station drop-off sites as well as where to take needles, syringes and other hazardous medical supplies in Snohomish County.

If you do not have Internet access, call the unwanted-medicine hotline for recorded information at 425-388-3199.

Find medicine-return programs that serve the rest of the region at

Talk to us

More in Life

Kotor's zigzagging town wall rewards climbers with a spectacular view. (Cameron Hewitt / Rick Steves' Europe)
Rick Steves: Just south of Dubrovnik lies unpolished Montenegro

One of Europe’s youngest nations offers dramatic scenery, locals eager to show off their unique land, and a refreshing rough-around-the-edges appeal.

Dark gray wheels and black exterior accents provide extra visual appeal for the 2024 Subaru Impreza’s RS trim. (Subaru)
2024 Subaru Impreza loses a little, gains a lot

The brand’s compact car is fully redesigned. A couple of things are gone, but many more have arrived.

TSR image for calendar
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

This weekend in Snohomish: The Snohomish Blues Invasion and the Snohomish Studio Tour 2023.

Made by Bruce Hutchison, the poster for “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is an homage to 1985 classic “The Goonies.” (Photo provided)
Indie film premiering on Whidbey Island

Filmed almost entirely on Whidbey Island, “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is set to premiere in Langley.

TSR image only
Does your elementary school child have ADHD?

It’s important to identify children with this condition so we can help them succeed in school.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

A clump of flowering ornamental grass or pennisetum alopecuroides in an autumn garden.
My garden runneth over with fountain grasses, and for good reason

These late-blooming perennials come in many varieties. They work well as accents, groundcovers, edgings or in containers.

This Vacasa rental is disgusting. Can I get my money back?

The vacation rental Carol Wilson books for her group through Vacasa is infested with rats and insects. Vacasa offers to refund one night, but can they get all of their money back?

A woman diverts from her walk on Colby Avenue to take a closer look at a pickup truck that was partly crushed by a fallen tree during an overnight wind storm Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in north Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / Herald file)
Storm season is coming. Here’s how to prepare for power outages.

The most important action you can take is to make an emergency preparedness kit.

Most Read