Encouraging healthy behavior and decreasing substance abuse in our community.

Prescription Drugs

Preventing Rx Drug Abuse in Washington County

Did  you know that 1 in 7 Washington County high-school students has misused a prescription (Rx) stimulant or opiate (pain reliever), not prescribed to them, at least once? (source: 2013 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey – Washington County).

Did you know that more than 70% of people 12 and older who abuse prescription drugs say they get them from a friend or relative?

Follow these simple steps to prevent prescription (Rx) drug misuse

TALK with your family, friends and children about the dangers of Rx drug misuse.
Keep medications SECURE in your home.
Safely DISPOSE of your medications in a local Rx drop box near you.
Keep COUNT and keep TRACK of your medications.
NEVER SHARE your medications.

Safe Use
Only take medication prescribed to you by a doctor. Only use it in the prescribed dosage. And never share prescription drugs with friends or family.

Safe Storage
Store prescription medication locked and out of reach of kids, family and guests. Know where it is at all times. Keep it in its original bottle with its label.

Safe Disposal 
Most prescription drugs should NOT be flushed down the toilet, washed down the sink, or put in the compost! In Vermont, you can drop off your medications at a permanent disposal site. Proper disposal helps avoid harming water sources, wildlife, pets and people.

pillsDrop these items in an Rx Drug Drop Box near you.

  • Expired and unused medications (pills and patches only)
  • Medication samples (pills and patches only)
  • Pet medications (pills only)

Collect your expired or unused Rx pills or patches in their original bottle or place them in a disposable bag.
Be sure to remove or cover your personal information. Anonymously drop your pills and patches in an Rx drug drop box near you.

Don’t drop these items

  • Liquids /Cough Syrups  (see below)
  • Needles/Sharps   (see below)
  • Thermometers
  • IV Bags
  • Bloody or infectious waste
  • Empty containers
  • Personal care products and inhalers
  • Epi-pens
  • Over the counter meds (OTC)

Disposal Instructions for liquids, needles and sharps

needlesNeedles and Sharps: Needles and sharps cannot be collected at Rx drop boxes. Needles, lancets and syringes used for home health care are not regulated and can go in the trash. To protect workers in the waste industry, place all needles in a sealed container and label it “Sharps – Do Not Recycle”  and store in a safe location, out of reach of children and pets. A plastic soda or laundry detergent bottle with a lid makes a good container. When the container is full, cap it tightly and throw in the trash.



Liquids:  Mix liquid medication with kitty litter or coffee grounds. Place mixture in a sealed plastic bag and place in trash. Liquids cannot be collected in the Rx drop boxes.

Rx Drug Drop Box locations: In Washington County there are drop boxes at the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, 10 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT, 802-223-3001, and the Barre City Police Department, 15 Fourth Street, Barre, VT, 802-476-6613.

Click here for a full listing of the drop-box locations in Vermont.,

Pharmacies that take back prescribed drugs include Kinney Drugs on the Barre Montpelier Road, Kinney Drugs in Waitsfield, and Kinney Drugs in Waterbury. These pharmacies accept on the last Saturday of the month. They do not take narcotics, controlled substances or needles – dispose of those at the law enforcement drop boxes.

For updated information, call 211. (Vermont 211, a service of United Way)

Get more information about safe disposal at the Vermont Department of Health or the FDA .

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