Albany County
175 Green Street | Albany, NY 12202
Phone: (518) 447-4580 | Fax: (518) 447-4698
Elizabeth F. Whalen, MD, MPH, Commissioner

Don't Flush Your Drugs: Safe Medication Disposal

Proper disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications is important to protect both people and the environment.

       Don't flush your prescription drugs!


Protect People…

Unused prescription and over-the-counter medications that remain in the home can cause serious harm to people if they are taken accidently, intentionally misused or inappropriately given to someone else. 

  • Among teens in the United States, prescription and over-the-counter medications were the most commonly abused drugs, after marijuana.
  • Almost 60% of twelfth graders who misused prescription narcotic medications said they were given to them by a friend or relative.

Protect the Environment…

Unused medications that are flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink can enter the water supply. Low levels of various drugs have been found in lakes, rivers and streams. Fish and other wildlife that live in the water are being harmed. There is also concern that drug-resistant bacteria may develop because of long-term exposure to low levels of antibiotics.

How to dispose of drugs safely: external website


Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy