Medication Safety

Did you know?

1 in 6 children have abused prescription medicines.

Two-thirds of teens who report abusing prescription medicine are getting it from friends, family, and acquaintances—usually without their knowledge.


3 Steps to Protecting Your Family 

(from The Partnership at

1. Monitor all medications.

Keep track of the number of pills in your prescriptions and refills.

2. Keep all medications safe.

Secure your prescriptions the same way you would other valuables in your home, like jewelry or cash. There’s no shame in helping protect those items – the same holds true for your medications.

3. Safely dispose of all expired and unused medications.

Take an inventory of all of the prescription drugs in your home. Start by discarding expired or unused prescription drugs. It’s important to remember that some people will retrieve discarded prescription drugs from the trash. Do not flush medication down the drain or toilet.

Safe Medication Disposal

Expired medications and medications you no longer need can be disposed of in a drop box or a mail back envelope.

Reasons to properly dispose of your expired and unused medications

  • Children and animals could be poisoned if they find and swallow drugs.
  • Drugs can be scavenged and illegally sold or used by someone they were not prescribed for.
  • Unused pharmaceuticals are environmental toxins; flushing them down the toilet or sink can release them into our drinking water and soil.

Medication mail back envelopes

  • Please contact your community coordinator to ask them for a prescription mail back envelope.
  • Controlled medications (such as Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, Valium and Xanax) are not accepted in the envelopes.
  • Please take controlled medications to the medication drop box in your community. Medication drop boxes are located in all four OPEN communities (see locations below).

Guidelines for proper disposal of medications in the medication drop box

  • Remove any identifying information from the prescription.
  • Place medications in a sealed bag into the box.

Locations include:

Please note: Police department locations are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. All drop offs are completely anonymous. Please contact other locations for available hours.


The Cambridge Police Station is located at 125 Sixth Street, Cambridge MA 02141.


The dropbox is located in the Records Unit, to the right of the front lobby when you enter into the main entrance.


Cambridge residents can dispose of used needles and syringes into a sharps disposal container at 2 locations in Cambridge:

1. The Cambridge Police Station, located next to the medication drop box on the first floor of the police department (address above).

2. The Cambridge Public Health Department, 119 Windsor Street, located near the lobby of the building, at the entrance to the ground floor offices.

Guidelines for proper disposal of needles and syringes:

  • Loose needles cannot be placed in the disposal container.
  • Use puncture-proof containers. Non-transparent plastic bottles such as bleach bottles, detergent containers, and coffee cans are acceptable, but must be sealed with tape.

For more information please visit the Cambridge Police Department website.


The Everett Police Station is located at 45 Elm Street, Everett MA 02149
The Everett Health Department is located at 484 Broadway, Room 20, Everett MA 02149

For more information please visit the Everett Police Department website or Everett Health Department website.


The Somerville Police Department is located at 220 Washington Street, Somerville MA 02143 (in Union Square)
For more information please visit the Somerville Police Department website or call 311.


The Watertown Police Department is located at 552 Main Street, Watertown MA 02471
For more information please visit the Watertown Police Department website.