Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

Skip subpage navigation

Drug Take Back Program

View the following questions and answers about the MHS Drug Take Back Program.

Q1:

Why is drug take back important?

A:

Prescription pain drugs are the second-most commonly abused category of drugs in the U.S.

  • When used as directed, prescription drugs are safe and effective.
  • When abused, prescription drugs can be dangerous, addictive and deadly.

The availability of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription drugs are a major contributor to prescription drug abuse. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, more than 70% of prescription pain drug abuse involved drugs obtained from a friend or relative, and nearly one third of suicide attempts among veterans involve prescription medication. Our beneficiaries can reduce these risks by safely disposing their drugs through the MHS Drug Take Back program. 

Q2:

What kind of drugs can we accept through the MHS Drug Take Back program?

A:

  • Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • Pills, tablets, capsules
  • Ointments
  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Powders
  • Liquid medicines (no more than 4 oz.)

Q3:

Are there any drugs we can't accept at our facility through the MHS Drug Take Back program?

A:

You can’t accept any of the following items at your facility. Please direct patients to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Website for details about disposing of these and other hazardous materials.

  • Illegal drugs
  • Aerosol spray cans
  • Alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
  • Needles, syringes or sharps containers
  • More than 4 oz. of liquid
  • Trash
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Batteries
  • Chemicals
  • Home-based care or durable medical equipment supplies

Q4:

We already participate in other drug take back events. Are we still allowed to participate in these throughout the year?

A:

Yes. In addition to these MHS Drug Take Back activities, you can participate in law enforcement-sponsored drug take back events that occur throughout the year.

Q5:

Can a pharmacy staff member accept unused, unwanted, or expired drugs from patients to dispose?

A:

No. Per DEA rules, pharmacists and other pharmacy staff cannot accept drugs from a patient to dispose of. They must physically put the drugs in the collection bin or envelope.

Last Updated: January 30, 2024
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery