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Prescription Drug Disposal Changes

TO police station lobby med binThe Thousand Oaks Police station accepts unwanted medications year round from residents via a disposal bin in their main lobby on Olsen Rd. However, there have been recent changes in the disposal procedure:

Pills must now be emptied out of their bottles and emptied into zippered plastic bags at home before bringing them to deposit in the pharmaceutical disposal bin. This is due to the fact that the bin opening is much smaller now (approximately 3 inches wide) and will not accommodate large bottles of pills, such as those purchased from discount warehouse club stores. Most liquid over the counter and prescription bottles should fit, however, they should be securely closed. It is also advisable to place liquid medications and vials without needles in zippered bags to prevent leaks and spills. Pills sealed in blister packs and sheets can stay intact, but place these in zippered plastic bags as well. (Please recycle the empty plastic bottles in your home recycling bin after medications have been removed -- keep caps on). As a reminder, the pharmaceutical disposal bin is for residential medications only. No commercial, business or medical office waste will be accepted. 

Coincidentally, there will be a FREE medication disposal event at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s station at 27050 Agoura Rd in Calabasas on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 10am to 3pm. This Saturday date is especially convenient for those who work full time weekdays and are not able to go to the Thousand Oaks Police Station lobby on weekdays when they are accepting medications. At this February 10th event, collections will be taking place for household items, clothing, and e-waste, plus free document shredding will be offered. More information can be found on the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station Facebook page.

The Thousand Oaks Police Department is located at: 2101 E. Olsen Rd. Thousand Oaks

Hours: Monday - Friday; 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Telephone: (805) 494-8200


People often ask how they should dispose of expired or unused medications. The most common questions are, “Can I flush them down the toilet, or should they go in the trash?” The answer is no to both. Flushing them puts the dissolved chemicals into the water supply. Throwing them away puts the chemicals in the landfill.

Another goal of proper medication disposal is to keep these products out of the hands of children. Many household pharmaceuticals are sold and traded among teenagers, who often help themselves to their parents’ medications. The consequences of medications getting into the wrong hands and being abused can be deadly. Preventing a tragedy can be as simple as taking your unused or expired medications to any of our substations or headquarters and disposing of them properly.

The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America. Prescription and over-the counter medications can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs. Additionally, the majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet. You can’t predict the effect a drug can have on you. Everybody’s brain and body chemistry are different. If you would like more information on drugs and teenage drug abuse please click on the following link:


The following items can be accepted: prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medication samples, pet medications, vitamins, medicated ointments/lotions and inhalers. The following items cannot be accepted: needles (sharps), controlled substances, medical waste or IV bags.

For info on how to dispose of sharps, click on the City of Thousand Oaks sharps disposal page.

Other locations for prescription drug drop off include:

Ojai Police Department: 402 S. Ventura St., Ojai

Fillmore Police Department: 524 Sespe Ave., Fillmore

Headquarters Station: 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura

Camarillo Police Department: 3701 Las Posas Rd., Camarillo


During the past three years, several thousand pounds of medications have been turned in for disposal at police stations throughout the county. In 2017, 6,813 pounds were collected in our county. In Thousand Oaks alone, 2,673 pounds were collected at the East Valley Station in 2017. Residents can dispose of their medications throughout the year during business hours Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm at the Thousand Oaks Police Department at 2101 E. Olsen Road in Thousand Oaks.

For more information on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, click here.

Click on the City of Thousand Oaks Pharmaceutical Disposal Programs and Sharps (needles) Collection Programs Information page.

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