This Earth Week, consider the irony that something that helps the human body can harm the planet. How? Until the recent past, pharmacists, clinicians and local municipalities commonly recommended throwing unused/expired medicine in the trash or flushing it away.
That’s no longer suggested, because studies have shown that the discarded medicine taints our environment. Birth-control hormones, codeine, over-the-counter pain medicine—and many more substances–contaminated 96 percent of the public drinking water sampled by the US Geological Survey. These materials seep into the ground we walk on, too.
This Saturday between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., visit a North Shore-LIJ drug take-back site for safe disposal of any prescription medicine; over-the-counter medication (like pain relievers, allergy, cold/flu and digestion remedies); antiseptics (germ-killing liquids for your hands); and medicine for pets. Sponsored by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, every drug take-back site is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
Visit a Walk-Up Drug Take-Back Site
Visit any drug take-back site to keep your old/unwanted medicine from seeping into the ground or contaminating our water supply. Find one in the lobby of these North Shore-LIJ facilities:
- Manhattan: Lenox Hill Hospital (77th Street)
- Queens: Forest Hills Hospital
- Nassau: Glen Cove Hospital (Emergency Department), Franklin Hospital and the North Shore-LIJ Medical Group Urgent Care Center at Bethpage
- Suffolk: Huntington Hospital
Drive-Up Sites Will Be Open, Too
For a convenient drive-up drug take-back site, visit:
- Staten Island: Staten Island University Hospital (north and south campuses)
- Queens: LIJ Medical Center
- Nassau: North Shore University Hospital, Plainview Hospital or Syosset Hospital
- Suffolk: Southside Hospital
Find additional places to throw away old/unwanted medicine at dea.gov.