Sept. 3, 2023 – I recently found myself wandering the streets of Brooklyn, clutching my tote bag. Inside was a bottle of oxycodone that I didn’t seem to be able to get rid of.

A few weeks earlier I had been prescribed a small supply of painkillers for a surgery, but I was left with a handful of pills I no longer needed. Disposing of them was a challenge.

I went to two pharmacies but was told they don’t collect leftover medicines. Instead, the pharmacist at the second drug store handed me a small envelope containing a powder and a confusing set of instructions on how to mix it with the drug that left me unclear on what to do.