Medication Safety: Saving Lives Through Safe Storage and Disposal

Medication helps save lives – until it falls into the wrong hands. A few alarming facts:

  • Nearly 70 percent of people who misuse pain medications take them from an unsuspecting friend or relative.
  • 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 medicine.

Where to Store Your Medications

Safely storing both your prescription and over-the-counter medications (such as aspirin) helps protect both you and your loved ones from potentially life-threatening accidents.

Before Your Store: Sort 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 (shown right). To use, simply pull down on the handle and drop your containers into the 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.

MedSafe Medication Disposal Near You

Sixth Street Drugs
Sharps are only accepted during hours of operation and must be in a rigid container (coffee can, laundry detergent bottle, etc.)
Phone: 231-946-4570 
Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 6PM
Saturday 9AM - 4PM
Closed on Sunday

Grand Traverse County Public Services Building
Medical Sharps must be in rigid containers and placed only in the RED BIN labeled Sharps.  This service is only available to GTC residents.
Phone: 231-941-5555 
Monday -Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
2650 LaFranier Road, Traverse City, MI, 49686

Acceptable Medications

  • Pills, tablets, and capsules
  • Ointments, creams, and lotions
  • Powders
  • 4 ounces or less of liquid medicines (kept in original container, wrapped in paper towel, and sealed in a bag)

What to Do with Old Sharps/Needles

We do not accept sharps in our MedSafe bins.

Holli Home Health of Traverse City collects sharps that are dropped off in a sturdy container, such as an empty coffee can or laundry soap bottle. Contact them at 231-943-1415 for more information.

Holli Home Health
2062 N, US 31
Suite A
Traverse City, MI

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.

Our Commitment

Munson Healthcare is committed to helping end the opioid overdose crisis in our region. In addition to offering MedSafe bins at convenient locations throughout our region, we are focused on educating members of our community on the dangers of keeping unused or expired medications.