Unused and unwanted prescription drugs can easily end up in the wrong hands, posing significant dangers and potentially leading to tragic consequences. Clearing out your medicine cabinet of unwanted and unused medications is a simple and effective way to keep your home and community safe. A shocking 60% of teens report their home medicine cabinet as their source for drugs. Forty percent of calls to Poison Control Centers are for children one year old and up taking medications that they thought was candy.


National Take-Back Event

The next National Take-Back Event is being held Saturday, October 28th, from 10am to 2pm during which time residents will be able to drive through and anonymously drop off prescription medications in many local communities including Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, and San Clemente. Find a complete list here along with their addresses.

Residents can also dispose of unwanted prescription medications by mixing them in a sealed container, such as a plastic bag with an unpalatable substance like dirt, kitty litter or used coffee grounds and a little water. You can dispose of this mixture in your household trash. Do not flush medications down the toilet or drain as it’s detrimental to the environment.

Moreover, residents have the option to utilize drop boxes located in several local pharmacies and police stations to dispose of unwanted medications throughout the year. Visit OCHCA for an up to date list of Orange County drop box locations.

We encourage you to be a part of the solution by monitoring, securing, and destroying (MSD) medications in your home:


  • Monitor: Ask your pharmacist to show you how to read the label. Never share medications in the family.
  • Secure: Keep medications safe. Store them out of sight and out of reach. Consider locking up rarely used medications.
  • Destroy: Get rid of unused or expired medications. Visit the next Take Back event or destroy medicines in your home.