Today at Work: A Big Bag of Drugs

Bag of drugs
Originally uploaded by carlweaver

A coworker brought a large trash bag labeled “drugs” into our office and has been calling different pharmacies to see what she can do with them. They are old medications from her boyfriend’s father – prescriptions from over the years that she found in the house she and her boyfriend are moving into.

With all the hullabloo over drugs and other flushed nonsense ending up in our drinking water, it’s certainly a bad idea to just throw these in the trash or flush them down the crapper, but how should she dispose of them? The pharmacy technicians she has spoken with are at a loss as well.

The upside to all this is that she resembled a drug-distributing Santa Claus, the sack over her shoulder making a hunch on her back. It was just like Christmas, except with drugs. There’s nothing “good” in there, mind you, just blood pressure meds and the such, pills, vials, liquids, ointments and gel caps for various ailments we will likely all develop as we get old. All of us except Katie, that is, who is young enough to reference her college’s Wikipedia policy. Damn kids.

Any ideas what to do with this stuff? Bueller?

Carl Weaver is a writer and brewer for and has been making beer and wine for more than 20 years. He is also an avid photographer and writer and just finished his first book, about a trip he took to Thailand to live in Buddhist monasteries. He considers himself the last of the Renaissance men and the luckiest darned guy in the world. Follow him on Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Today at Work: A Big Bag of Drugs

  1. *ahem* As it happens, I know exactly what to do. From

    - Do not flush or pour unused medications down the drain.
    - Dispose of medicines with household garbage by removing all personal information from the packaging before throwing away, and putting medications in a sealed plastic bag. You can protect children or pets from ingesting medication in the trashcan by crushing it up and mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter so as to make it unappealing.
    - See if your local government has some sort of hazardous household waste removal program- that’s also a good way to get rid of leftover drugs.

    Most municipal landfills are lined, so medications that end up there don’t end up in the groundwater.

  2. I bet a certain from councilman from Ward 8 would be glad to take them off your hands.