Welcome to www.dontflushdrugs.com!

No flushing medications!Increasing amounts of prescription drugs and personal care products are being detected in rivers, waterways, and groundwater. Wastewater treatment facilities are not equipped to "filter out" these chemicals, so drugs like antidepressants, cholesterol reducers and antibiotics are being detected in drinking water supplies. The risk to humans and animals of long-term exposure to these contaminants in drinking water is unknown.

In addition, many children are the victims of accidental poisonings each year due to medications and personal care products in the home. Studies also show that individuals who abuse prescription drugs often obtained them from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In order to protect our families and the environment, we must ensure that medications and personal care products are properly handled, stored and disposed!

  • Guide to Prescription Drug and Personal Care Product Disposal - Homeowner's Handbook Guide No. 9 - Guide to water quality protection for homeowner associations and households, courtesy of the Office of the  Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner.


    Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program

    The Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program allows Washtenaw County residents to take back their old, unwanted medications to a pharmacy to be properly disposed - for FREE! In compliance with the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration, this program DOES NOT ACCEPT any controlled/scheduled drugs

    See what you can and cannot take to the pharmacies for disposal!

    **Please call any of the participating pharmacies with specific questions about acceptable/unacceptable medications.**

    Participating Pharmacies in Washtenaw County:

    pill bottleAnn Arbor Professional Pharmacy
    2140 E. Ellsworth Rd.
    Ann Arbor, MI  48108
    Map and Directions

    Clark Professional Pharmacy [must be pharmacy customer]
    3280 Washtenaw Ave.
    Ann Arbor, MI  48104  
    Map and Directions

    Dexter Pharmacy
    2820 Baker Rd.
    Dexter, MI 48130
    Map and Directions


    Jensen's Community Pharmacy - Saline
    968 E. Michigan Ave.
    Saline, MI  48176
    Map and Directions

    cough syrupPharmacy Solutions, Inc.
    5204 Jackson Rd., Suite C
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103
    Map and Directions

    Saline Pharmacy
    75 E. Bennett St.
    Saline, MI 48176
    Map and Directions

    St. Joseph Mercy Pharmacy - Reichert
    5333 McAuley Dr.
    Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    Map and Directions

    St. Joseph Mercy Pharmacy Towers
    5301 E. Huron River Drive
    Ann Arbor, MI 48106
    Map and Directions

    ChelseaCare Pharmacy/St. Joseph Mercy - Chelsea
    775 S. Main St.
    Chelsea, MI 48118
    Map and Directions

    Village Pharmacy II
    325 N. Maple Rd.
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103
    Map and Directions


    Mail-In Programs

    TakeAway Environmental Return System [Available at CVS & Walgreens]

    Simply purchase the Environmental Return System postage prepaid envelope and fill it with your unused patient medications. Then just drop it in the mail. OR place unused patient medications in the Environmental Return System postage prepaid drop-off box which is then shipped through UPS. The return shipping cost is prepaid with both options. The TakeAway Environmental Return Systems are transported to Sharps’ treatment facility where they are processed by law enforcement.

    Big Red Barrel Program

    The Washtenaw Community Health Organization coordinates the "Big Red Barrel" program with local law enforcement agencies. This program provides a location for people to dispose of prescription or over-the-counter pills, INCLUDING controlled substances like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet - for FREE! There are also several sites in Livingston County and Lenawee County. --Oakland County sponsors a program called Operation Medicine Cabinet.

    Participating Locations in Washtenaw County:

    Big Red BarrelChelsea Police Department
    311 S. Main St.
    Chelsea, MI  48118
    Map and Directions
    Accessible 24/7.
    Pills Only.  No liquids, No syringes.

    Dexter Village Sheriff Station
    8140 Main St.
    Dexter, MI  48130
    Map and Directions
    Accessible 24 hours.

    Manchester Village Sheriff Station
    912 City Rd.
    Manchester, MI  48158
    Map and Directions
    Accessible 8:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. M-F and during library hours.

    Saline Police Department
    100 N. Harris St.
    Saline, MI  48176
    Map and Directions
    Accessible 24 hours.

    Scio Township Sheriff Station
    1055 N. Zeeb Rd.
    Ann Arbor, MI  48103
    Map and Directions
    Accessible 24 hours.

    Locations Around Michigan

    More Options By Location

    Lenawee County - Big Red Barrel
    Livingston County - Big Red Barrel
    Oakland County- Operation Medicine Cabinet

    AWARxE Program

    AWARErx.org is an information source providing authoritative resources about medication safety, prescription drug abuse, medication disposal, and safely buying medications on the Internet. 

    Yellow Jug Old Drugs Program

    Yellow Jug Old Drugs ® is a program operated by Great Lakes Clean Water Organization to collect and properly dispose of unwanted/unused drugs in a safe and approved manner to help keep our water clean.

    Michigan Pharmacists Association

    Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) hosts a Medication Disposal Event at the Capitol each year in September on the south Capitol lawn in Lansing.  The 2014 event will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9. Watch this site for additional details in the spring or early summer of 2014 and check the website for more medication disposal information.

    Michigan Medical & Veterinary Care Facilities 

    Michigan Medical & Veterinary Care Facilities - Guide for Safe Disposal of Unused Medication.

    Medication Disposal Guidelines

    If you are unable to drop off your old medications at any of the participating pharmacies, please follow the guidelines below for safe disposal of medications within the home. 

    View our 4-minute video on safe disposal of medications!

    Please CONTACT US with comments on the video. Thanks!


    Medication Disposal Guidelines:

    1. Clear out old medications for safety sake! "Medicine Chest Confusion" can result when leftover or expired pharmaceuticals are stored, sometimes leading to dangerous mix-ups. Or they can get into the wrong hands - medications are a major source of poisoning in young children.
    2. Don't put medications down the toilet or sink! Whether you are on a septic system or municipal sewer, traces of flushed chemicals can reach the environment. Research shows that neither system removes them completely.
    3. Wrap and Trash! Remove or black out any personal information on the label, but ensure the drug name is still visible. Wrap medication containers in duct tape, followed by several layers of plastic bags, to prevent crushing in the trash truck and contents spilling out. Many people are reluctant to send medications to the landfill for fear they will someday reach the groundwater aquifer. But modern landfills are lined, and the leachate is collected and treated to remove the harmful compounds.


    Drug Enforcement Agency Take-Back Volumes

     DEA ArticleDEA’S National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days Meet a Growing Need for Americans
    Date of Take-Back Event Pounds Collected
     September 25, 2010 242,000
     April 30, 2011 376,593
     October 29, 2011 377,086 
     April 28, 2012  552,161
     September 29, 2012  488,395
     April 27, 2013  742,497
     October 26, 2013  647,211
     April 26, 2014 780,158 
     TOTAL  4,206,101


    For More Information:

    Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222



     Washtenaw County Logo

    Dan Moody
    Solid Waste Coordinator
    Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division



  • 'Nightmare' bacteria are real, and the U.S. needs to act fast - In a wonder drug era, bacteria are becoming increasingly
         more resistant throughout the United States.  The Washington Post, Oct. 20, 2013.
  • Campaign Under Way Against Unused Drugs In L.I. Water Supply - CBS News, New York, March 5. 2013.
  • Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Huron River - Reports from the City of Ann Arbor on the
         presence of endocrine disruptors and pharmaceuticals in the Huron River, the City of Ann Arbor's drinking water,
         and its waste-water.
  • Traces of Anxiety Drug May Affect Behavior in Fish - Traces of a common psychiatric medication that winds up in
         rivers and streams may affect fish behavior and feeding patterns, according to a study in the journal Science via
         The New York Times, February 14, 2013.
  • Frogs, Fish and Pharmaceuticals a Troubling Brew - Prozac, other drugs detected in streams and their inhabitants.
         CNN Nov. 14, 2003.
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