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As we accumulate different medications, it’s important to safely discard those that are expired or no longer needed. And there is definitely a right and wrong way to do it.

First, check all of your medications and get rid of any that are expired, have an abnormal color or odor, or are in unmarked containers. Then check your cabinets for medicines you no longer need – perhaps your physician replaced one of your blood pressure medicine with a new one or changed your dosage. You need to get rid of the old prescription.

Now that you’ve gathered these medications for disposal, don’t just toss them in the trash by themselves. This is especially dangerous for medications that can be highly addictive, such as opioids and other pain pills. Instead:

  • 1. Take medication out of its original container. Remove any labels from the bottle that contain your name or other private health information. Then toss or recycle the container.
  • 2. Place the medication in a plastic bag and hide it in other trash items – like a dirty can, milk carton or covered box.
  • 3. You can flush potentially dangerous drugs down the toilet if they are on the FDA flush list.

The safest method of drug disposal is to take medications to a drug take-back event and this Saturday, Oct. 26, will feature several events across the community for National Prescription Take Back Day. You’ll get a jump on the effort at UCF, since its event will take place on Friday to accommodate faculty, staff and students.

Friday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

UCF Police Department & UCF Student Health Services
UCF Student Union Inside the Atrium
12715 Pegasus Dr.
Orlando, FL 32816

Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Apopka Police Department
112 E Sixth St.
Apopka, FL 32703

Belle Isle Police Department
1521 Nela Ave.
Belle Isle, FL 32809

CVS Pharmacy #2829
Orlando Police Department

3502 Edgewater Dr.
Orlando, FL 32804

CVS Pharmacy #3145
Orlando Police Department

5886 Conroy Road
Orlando, FL 32835

East Orange County Sheriff’s Office Substation
11000 Lake Underhill Road
Orlando, FL 32825

Eatonville Police Department
11 People St.
Eatonville, FL 32751

Edgewood Police Department
5565 S Orange Ave.
Edgewood, FL 32809

Maitland City Hall
1776 Independence Lane
Maitland, FL 32751

Maitland Police Department
1837 Fennell St.
Maitland, FL 32751

Northwest Orange County Sheriff’s Substation
1111 North Rock Springs Road
Apopka, FL 32712

Ocoee Police Department
646 Ocoee Commerce Pkwy.
Ocoee, FL 34761

South Orange County Sheriff’s Substation
2400 West 33rd St.
Orlando, FL 32839

Winter Garden Police Department
251 W. Plant St.
Winter Garden, FL 34787

Winter Park Police Department
500 N. Virginia Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789

For more information, visit

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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