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Safely Getting Rid of Your Expired and Unwanted Medications


To make it easier for patients, employees and community members to dispose of expired or unwanted medications, Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Pharmacy Retail Services has installed medication collection receptacles at their three pharmacy locations: the D-H Pharmacy at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), the D-H Pharmacy at Centerra in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and Dick Hall’s House Pharmacy at Dartmouth College (you do not need to be a Dartmouth student or employee to utilize this receptacle).

The green collection receptacles, which are labeled “Inmar Consumer Drug Take-Back Program,” are located within the public common spaces of the pharmacies and are accessible during business hours (hours are listed below). “They provide a safe, secure, and anonymous avenue to dispose of expired or unneeded medication, which means that people don’t need to visit their local police stations to safely dispose of medications,” says Craig Pike, PharmD, the D-H Pharmacy Manager of Outpatient Services. “You don’t need to alert the pharmacy staff to use the medication drop box. Just open the handle—it looks like a mailbox—and drop in your unwanted medications.”

He notes that once medications have been placed in the receptacle, they cannot be retrieved by pharmacy staff, even if they were deposited accidentally. “We want people to be aware that once the medication is in the deposit box, it’s committed,” he says. “There are very specific rules about how the medications can be handled and we can’t get them out.”

Not all medications are approved for disposal in D-H receptacles. Among the approved medications are:

  • Prescription medication
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Pet medication

Prohibited medications that cannot be disposed in D-H receptacles include:

  • Illicit or illegal drugs
  • Schedule 1 controlled substances, like LSD and heroin
  • Medical (and non-medical) marijuana
  • Thermometers
  • Inhalers
  • Lotions, creams or liquids
  • Aerosol cans
  • Needles, syringes, auto-injecting devices, etc.
  • Hydrogen peroxide

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the pharmacies directly for assistance:

  • D-H Pharmacy at DHMC: 1-855-280-3893; Open Monday through Friday 7 am to 7 pm, Saturday 8 am to 4 pm
  • D-H Pharmacy at Centerra: 1-855-280-3893; Open Monday through Sunday 7 am to 9 pm. Please note: access to the medication drop-off box is available only during these hours. The drive-thru is open 24 hours for prescription needs.
  • Dick Hall’s House Pharmacy at Dartmouth College: 1-603-646-9456; summer hours: Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm; school year hours: Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm