INDIANAPOLIS — Do your over-the-counter pills ever expire and you don’t know what to do with them? Maybe you’ve taken a medicine and decided it wasn’t for you and now you just have a useless full pill bottle lying around? There are certain ways to go about disposing your unwanted prescription drugs in a safe way.

A lot of the time when people decide to get rid of their unwanted or expired prescriptions, they decide to flush them down the toilet, bury them, or simply throw them away. Captain Holt, with the Covert Investigations Branch of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), says “You should dispose of unwanted or expired drugs through one of our drop boxes or one of the DEA take-back days that are held twice a year.”

Holt says it’s important to dispose of your drugs to a place where you know that they will be taken care of properly. IMPD takes the drugs to a local incinerator to burn the drugs. “They’re certainly non-usable and they’re completely destroyed when we’re finished with that process,” said Holt.

Disposing of your drugs into the toilet or throwing them away in the trash can be extremely harmful to the environment. “As drugs expire, they become less effective and they also sometimes have a chemical change in them which would make it harmful to use them,” explained Holt. These chemical changes can have a harmful effect on the water and in return harm your local environment.

Recently in Indianapolis, drug overdose instances have been on the rise. “Here in the United States, overdoses are at its highest level ever, and certainly, prescription drugs are part of that equation,” said Holt. By keeping unwanted or unused drugs in your home, Holt says you could be potentially adding to that problem. “I certainly wouldn’t want that on my conscience to know that somebody got medication from my home and ultimately used it to harm themselves.”

If you or someone you know has unwanted/expired drugs laying around, please dispose of them at any one of IMPD’s stations, with the exception of the downtown station, into the pharmaceutical disposal box. The Drug Enforcement Administration also holds “Take Back” days twice a year with the next one being April 30 at 10 a.m.

For more information about Take Back Day and the closest place to your home to dispose properly of unwanted/expired drugs, please visit www.dea.gov/takebackday