Medication Safety


Medication Safety: Saving Lives Through Safe Storage and Disposal

When taken as prescribed, medication helps save lives – but medication that isn’t stored securely can lead to unintended yet serious consequences.

Nearly 70 percent of people who misuse pain medications take them from an unsuspecting friend or relative. In addition:

  • Three of every five teens say they have easy access to their parent’s medications.
  • A child visits an emergency room for accidental medication poisoning every ten minutes.

Play it safe and protect your loved ones with proper safekeeping and disposal of your unused prescription pills and old medications, including over-the-counter medicine (such as aspirin).

Where to Store Your Medications

Before Your Store: ort through your medications, paying close attention to expiration dates. If any medications have expired – or you no longer use them – it’s time to dispose of them safely. Expired medications are not only ineffective, but may even be unsafe. Any remaining medication you choose to keep should stay in its original packaging.

Storing Your Medications: First, look for a secure place that children and pets cannot easily reach. Strongly consider keeping prescription medications (such as codeine or opioids) in a locked cabinet or drawer that only you have access to.

How to Dispose of Your Unused or Expired Medication

Munson Healthcare offers free, safe medication disposal throughout northern Michigan. The drop-off process is simple and anonymous – you are not required to check in or provide any personal information to anyone, including your name.

To dispose of your unused or old medications, simply take them to a Munson Healthcare location near you and look for the blue MedSafe disposal bin. To make drop-off easier, please consider the following tips:

  • The contents of the bin will be routinely collected and incinerated, so there is no need to peel prescription labels off of your med containers.
  • If you have numerous containers, you are welcome to place them all in a plastic or paper bag and then drop the bag into the MedSafe bin.
  • Acceptable Medications include: pills tablets, and capsules; ointment, creams, and lotions; powders; and 4 ounces or less of liquid medicines (kept in original container, wrapped in paper towel, and sealed in a bag).

MedSafe Medication Disposal Near You

For addition locations, view the Michigan Household Drug Take Back Map.

Safely Dispose of Medications at Home

The safest way to discard of medications is by using one of the MedSafe disposal containers listed above. However, you can also safely dispose of medication at home.

Learn how to safely dispose of medication in your household trash.

What to Do with Old Sharps/Needles

We do not accept sharps in our MedSafe bins. Local disposal locations are available: