Step 3 of 5: Dispose of your prescription drugs

We are more than halfway through our five-week journey through the American Medicine Chest Challenge 5 Steps.  This week, we will talk about Step 3, which is to dispose of your unused, unwanted and expired medicine at an American Medicine Chest Challenge site.

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Five years ago, this step would not have existed. The American Medicine Chest Challenge and its parent organization the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey was on the forefront of establishing safe options for the disposal of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine. We were the first organization to create a model that included federal, state, and local law enforcement together with community, prevention, and treatment partners in designating a day of awareness and disposal. This model was lauded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and featured in the 2010 National Drug Control Strategy.

Today, I am proud to report that the American Medicine Chest Challenge currently hosts the National Directory of Permanent Collection Sites with over 1,000 law enforcement and community partners in all 50 states. AMCC also hosts the nation’s only free mobile app to access information on locations available to safely dispose of prescription drugs throughout the country.

Too many of our children are accessing prescription drugs from unsecured medicine cabinets in their homes, as well as the homes of their family and friends. The first step, asks us to take stock in the prescription drugs we already have so that it’s easier to notice when something is missing. The second step, asks us to secure our medicines so they are not accessible by our kids and other houseguests. The third steps, asks that we get rid of the prescription drugs we don’t need all together. By removing these unused, unwanted, or expired medicines from our homes, we drastically reduce the risk of them ending up in the hands of our children.

The American Medicine Chest Challenge locations are all located at local county and state law enforcement departments. Medicines that are anonymously collected are then properly disposed of under the direction of law enforcement, following local, county, state, and federal guidelines.

The American Medicine Chest Challenge has been supported by a group of national leaders who have an continue to demonstrate their commitment to locally driven, community based solutions in addressing the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. The success of AMCC is due in large part to the support of PhRMA, Actavis, GPhA, the American College of Emergency Room Physicians, Covanta Energy, and the Partnership at

If you do not have an American Medicine Chest Challenge site near you and would like one, please visit our website.

If you are unable to make it to an AMCC location, please visit this site for more ways to safely dispose of prescription drugs in the home.

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