IEMS encourages individuals to properly dispose prescription drugs

Over the past several years, the state of Indiana has seen an increase in the abuse of opioids and controlled substances resulting in overdoses. In 2021 alone, Indianapolis EMS has treated over 640 opioid overdose cases. That’s an average of 7 cases each day in Marion County alone.

According to the Indiana Attorney General, the opioid crisis and accidental overdoses in Indiana has caused more Hoosier deaths than vehicle collisions. IEMS wants to keep our community safe and help the fight against the opioid epidemic by providing information for detecting addiction early and disposing of medicine properly.

Know the Signs

Early detection of addiction can help save your life or the life of a loved one. While knowing the signs of addiction early does not replace professional treatment, it can help you identify a problem and be the first step in seeking out help. The Indiana Attorney General offers the below as signs to look out for possible addiction.

  • Taking more than prescribed
  • Running out of prescriptions too soon
  • Mixing pills and alcohol
  • Appearance of intoxication, hyperactivity, or loss of energy/interest
  • Seeking prescriptions for more than one injury or with multiple doctors
  • Abnormal behaviors, hostility, withdrawal, or sudden personality changes
  • Poor decision making, such as secrecy or defiance
  • Stealing, forging, or selling prescriptions

Disposing of Medicine Properly

You can also help prevent opioid overdoses by properly storing medications in your home and disposing of unused or expired prescriptions using the below methods suggested by the Indiana Attorney General:

Drug Take-Back

  • Indiana has several permanent Take-Back Locations throughout Indiana
  • Contact your city or county government’s solid waste management district
  • Ask if here is an available drug take-back program
  • Counties may hold household hazardous waste collection days

Household Disposal Steps

Protecting the environment is also important when disposing of medications.

·       DON’T flush expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs down the toilet or
drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.

·       DO return unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs to a drug take-back location.

·       The below steps are helpful if a drug take-back location is unavailable:

Photo courtesy of Indiana Attorney General

Have more questions about drug take-back locations or helping reduce opioid overdoses throughout Indiana, please visit