About Red Med Box

The Problem

Certain medications are considered “controlled substances,” which means that they have high potential for abuse and addiction. According to current regulations, medications that are considered controlled substances can only be handled by the patient who was prescribed the medication and/or law enforcement professionals. Unlike other medications, controlled substances cannot be dropped off at the pharmacy once they are no longer needed or they have expired. Flushing old medications down the toilet is also not a safe alternative because it can contaminate our local water sources.

So how can we safely and securely dispose of unwanted or expired medications?

The Solution

Red Med Box is the solution! Red Med Box is a program in Kalamazoo County that allows people to safely dispose of their unwanted or expired medications and their over-the-counter medications. It is a free service. It is secure. It is better for our environment. It helps to protect our community from medication abuse and addiction.

Red Med Box is also easy. All you have to do is collect the medications that you are no longer using or that have expired. Bring them to the nearest Red Med Box. Drop the medications into the box. And go. You will not have to check in with anyone or fill out any forms. It’s just that simple!

How it Works

Here are some helpful hints as you use Red Med Box:

  • Collect the medications in your home that are no longer being used or have expired. Do NOT keep old meds in your home or share them.
  • Keep medications in their original packaging.
  • Mark out your name with a black marker. Do NOT mark out the name of the medication. That way we know what it is when we are disposing the meds.
  • All Red Med Boxes are located at local law enforcement agencies, so they are safe and secure.
  • Red Med Boxes are emptied on a regular basis by law enforcement officers. They are then stored in the local law enforcement agency’s evidence room. Later they are destroyed in an incinerator.

It's a Community Effort

Red Med Box was launched in Kalamazoo County in October of 2011 as a joint effort among Kalamazoo County Household Hazardous Waste, the Kalamazoo County Substance Abuse Task Force, local law enforcement agencies, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and local hospitals and healthcare providers. The program continues to expand, so that there will be more convenient locations across the county.