Permanent Take Back Locations (BEST!)

Iowa has over 400 law enforcement locations and pharmacies with permanent collection boxes. Please check with the host organization for hours of operation.

Google Map






What items are accepted:

Prescription medications, patches, ointments, medication for pets, and over-the-counter drugs

What items are not accepted:

Syringes, inhalers, and aerosols

How to package items:

Remove medications from their original containers. Place them into clear, sealed plastic bags, and recycle the original container.  If not possible, leave the medications sealed in their original containers.  All liquids should be in a tightly sealed, secure container. Those containers should be in sealed, clear plastic bags. Contact your local Take Back host site for more information on accepted items.

Take Back Events (Better, but you have to wait)

Twice a year, the DEA hosts a take back event. For dates and locations, visit the DEA Take Back Day website.

Toss it in the Trash (Good, as a last resort)

When better options are not practical, carefully discard of medicines in the trash.

(1) Follow patient instructions. Do not flush unless told to do so.

(2) Remove medicines from original containers.

(3) Mix with used coffee grounds, dirt, kitty litter or another undesirable substance.

(4) Place the mixture in a sealed bag or can to avoid leakage.

(5) Place in the trash for regular collection.


Note: Some Iowa pharmacies offer customers a postage-paid mail-back pouch. Ask your pharmacist for details.

*When in doubt about the proper disposal of medicines, ask your pharmacist.

The Office of Drug Control Policy appreciates the support of our many partners. Together, we are working to prevent prescription drug misuse.