Colorado Household Medication Take-Back Program

 
The program accepts and destroys unused and expired over-the-counter and prescription medications generated by households. All locations accept prescribed controlled substances (i.e., Percoset, Vicodin, Xanax, Ritalin and Adderall).
 
Medications may be deposited in their original containers, but you can help conserve space in collection bins by pouring pills/capsules into a zip-top bag and then trashing or recycling containers separately. Strike out personal information on pill containers before depositing in collection bins or trashing/recycling them. Do not deposit excessive packaging, like cardboard boxes, in the collection bins.

Business wastes, including those generated in health care facilities, cannot be deposited in program kiosks. Disposal guidance for businesses can be found here.
 
Use this interactive map to find take-back locations that participate in the State program. Walgreen’s, some other pharmacies and some law enforcement agencies collecting on their own, while not part of this program, have been included for completeness (we recommend calling these locations to verify hours and items acceptable for disposal).
 
List of take back locations
A list of the locations found on the map.

Items that can or cannot be accepted
The success of the program depends on its proper use.
 
Guidance and information for items that can't be accepted.


What if I can't access a collection site?
If you can’t access a permanent collection site, visit takemedsback.org to see if a collection event might be scheduled in your area. Mail-back envelopes or drug deactivation/disposal pouches can be purchased at some pharmacies. Ask your pharmacist for additional information. If none of these options are available, do not flush medications. Flushing can pollute water supplies. Follow the steps below for proper trash disposal.

  • Remove medications from their original containers and place in a zip-top bag or a sealable container with a secure lid (make sure you remove pill labels or cross out any identifying information and recycle or dispose the bottles separately).
  • Do not crush or attempt to dissolve pills and capsules.
  • Mix with something that can’t be eaten, like kitty litter or coffee grounds.
  • Wrap the bag or container in newspaper or a plain brown bag to conceal its contents.
  • Place it in your trash on the day it gets picked up or taken to a landfill.
 
Can I donate unused drugs for use by others?
There are no programs currently operating in Colorado that will accept unused drugs donated by individuals. However, other states operate programs that will, and will accept them by mail. These programs have strict guidelines that must be

followed, including prohibitions on prescribed controlled substances, refrigerated medications, and expired or soon-to-be expired medications. Wyoming’s Medication Donation Program and Iowa’s SafenetRx Program are two such programs available to Colorado residents.