How to properly dispose of opioids

The Richmond Behavioral Authority has found that more than half of all people who misuse opioid pain relievers get them from a friend or family member.

There are some medicines that are especially harmful and even fatal with one dose if used by someone other than the person for whom they were prescribed.

Consumers and caregivers should immediately remove unused, expired and unwanted medicines to prevent others from accidentally taking or intentionally misusing the unneeded medicine. When disposing of medications that are no longer needed, you will prevent accidental exposure to and possible ingestion of potentially dangerous medicines by children, pets and others.

The Richmond Behavioral Authority is recommending the options below and special instructions on how to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medications. One of the safest ways to dispose of potentially fatal medicines is to dispose of them at permanent disposal site in Richmond.

Disposing of medication is as easy as 1,2,3:

  1. Go to Richmond Police Headquarters or your closest precinct.
  2. Inside the location, find the red CVS Pharmacy Prescription Disposal Bin.
  3. Pull the lid and drop your medication(s).

Permanent disposal sites in Richmond:

  • Richmond Police Department Headquarters: 200 W Grace St.
  • 1st Precinct: 2501 Q Street.
  • 2nd Precinct: 177 Belt Boulevard
  • 3rd Precinct: 301 South Meadow Street
  • 4th Precinct: 2219 Chamberlayne Ave.

The bins can be accessed during regular business hours (Monday - Friday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.)

If you cannot make it to a disposal Site, follow these simple steps to dispose of medicines in the household trash:

  • Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or unused coffee grounds
  • Place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag or other container
  • Throw the bag/container in your trash
  • Remove personal information from the prescription label of all empty pill bottles or remove all packaging from the prescription to make it unreadable, then dispose of the bag/container

For some medicines, they can pose significant risks if not disposed of properly. For example, people who have been prescribed fentanyl patches should flush used and/or unneeded patches down the toilet. By flushing these potentially harmful patches down the toilet immediately, you will help protect others by ensuring these medicines are not misused or accidentally ingested or touched

The Richmond Behavioral Health Authority offers prescription disposal kits for one-time use for residents on a first-come basis. For more information on how to obtain a FREE kit, please contact the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority at 804-819-4000.