Why You Shouldn’t Flush Medicine

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You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t flush old medicine down your toilet or drain—but why is that? Our team breaks down all the info and explains how you should safely dispose of old pills.

Can I flush old medicine?

Technically, yes, you can flush old medicine. The FDA has a list of flush-approved medications. These medicines contain active ingredients with a higher abuse rate and could cause death if taken inappropriately—the FDA suggests flushing the drugs to keep them away from anyone who could abuse them purposefully or accidentally. The problem with flushing old medication, however, lies in the environmental impact.

Negative Environmental Impact

The FDA admits that more research is needed to prove whether flushing is a safe method to dispose of old medication. A recent study found that flushing your medication can contaminate lakes, streams, and other bodies of water and that this contamination can impact aquatic wildlife.

Hawai’i has an unusually high population of endemic species (species native to only one place in the world). In fact, over 25% of marine life found in our oceans are endemic to Hawai’i. Unfortunately, many of these species are endangered because of this. Flushing medication that impacts our water could cause major harm to the environment and wildlife of our island.

How to Properly Dispose of Old Medication

There are many ways to safely dispose of medicine without flushing it down your toilet. Seek out a permanent drug take back collection site near you or look up one of the many periodic drug take back events going on. These are safe ways to get medication out of your home and away from curious children or pets without the negative impacts of flushing pills down the toilet.

While the FDA may approve of flushing drugs in some instances, the environmental impact could cause irreparable harm to our diverse and one-of-a-kind environment. Play it safe and take old medication back to a drug take back site and protect your family and our home!

What Our Clients Say

Matt was very professional and considerate as we are in a COVID world. May not necessarily be the cheapest but you are paying for the quality, peace of mind, and quick response time to my urgent matter. I will definitely call them again for my next plumbing issue.

-Elias S.

If you have any plumbing needs this is the company to use. They said they would be there at 9:30 and by gosh, they showed up at 9:28 that not a normal thing when it comes to plumbing. Both of them were not they answered all my questions without hesitation and got the job done within 45 minutes even though they said it would take an hour and a half.

-Bob J.

Brayden and Maka worked on a major repair at our home over a time period of four days. We have high praise for both of them, their professionalism, courtesy, friendliness, and reliability. Steve’s Plumbing is lucky to have these two fine employees.


Shon Bolo was very courteous. He was very informative about how Plumbing is just as important as the engine of a car. He was very respectful. Even though I wasn’t able to get everything done as expected. Shon was able to install my laundry tub to get my washer ready to drain and connected. Definitely would recommend shon bolo to friends and neighbors. Thank you very much for the wonderful job. Great service Shon!!

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