We all, at one time or another, have on hand a selection of unused prescription drugs. Knowing how and when to dispose of those drugs is important for the safety of our environment and to make sure they don't fall into the wrong hands.
The Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/drugs/safe-disposal-medicines/disposal-unused-medicines-what-you-should-know#Medicines_recommended recommends disposing of them immediately by taking them to a drug take-back location. This applies to over-the-counter drugs, as well.
October 29th is the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and you can find take back locations by contacting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html. There you will also find a list of permanent places that will take your unused prescription medicines on days other than National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Contact your local police department and pharmacy to find out if they have a permanent drop-off program and also ask if they will accept pill bottles. Just make sure you mark off your vital information on the label before you drop them off.
The FDA site also provides instructions for safe disposal at home. They tell you which medicines can safely be discarded in the trash and which can not. There is a complete list on the site above to help you with safe home disposal.
Don't take the risk of disposing harmful drugs in the wrong way. Just a few calls or online searches will give you all the information you need to be safe.
It's as simple as that!