MSP to Host Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Next Week

You can help keep unused opiods, pharmaceuticals and other drugs out of the wrong hands next week during the Michigan State Police observance of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day coming on Saturday, October 26th.

State Police encourage you to safely dispose of all unwanted medications at any of the 30 Michigan State Police Posts all across the state.

Authorities are asking residents to dispose of expired, unused and unwanted pills during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday, which is one of two annual events held in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other law enforcement agencies.

Last fall, Americans turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,300 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Since its inception, such Take Back events have collected more than 12 million pounds of unwanted drugs.

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Keith Martin is Special Agent in Charge at the Detroit Field Office of the DEA. He says, “Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue. Far too many times we see a friend or family member’s medicine cabinet unknowingly becomes the source of accidental poisoning, an overdose, or abuse.” His office oversees DEA efforts in Michigan, Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Col. Joe Gasper is Director of the Michigan State Police. He tells us, “This is something every Michigan resident can do to make sure unused prescription drugs don’t end up in the wrong hands. Even one pill makes a difference.” Col. Gasper encourages everyone to, “Take a few moments to check your home and get rid of these medications. Opioid and prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses are real. Help us fight this crisis.”

All 30 of the state’s Michigan State Police Posts are participating in the one-day ‘Take-Back’ effort from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, October 26, by serving as drop-off points. All collected pills will be destroyed, with no questions asked. Liquids, inhalers, patches and syringes cannot, however, be accepted, so please refrain from taking such items.

The State of Michigan is using every available tool to combat the opioid epidemic. The collaborative efforts of state agencies amplifies Michigan’s efforts related to prevention and treatment of patients, education of health professionals and enforcement of over-prescribers. Efforts include:

  • A one-stop shop website (Michigan.gov/opioids) with all helpful information and resources on the epidemic…
  • Providing online resources for patients, health professionals and communities about prevention and treatment of opioid abuse…
  • The Michigan Automated Prescription System provides real-time prescription data and resources to better assess a patient’s risk for substance use disorder…
  • Assistance with proper drug disposal of unwanted medications…
  • Michigan State Police posts serving as drug-take back sites and providing the Angel Program for individuals struggling with addiction…

For more information about opioids and the additional steps residents can take to protect themselves and loved ones, visit online at this link:  http://michigan.gov/opioids

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is held twice a year, in April and October. During the April 2019 effort, Michigan State Police posts collected 1,184 pounds of prescription drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Further, disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can pose environmental and health hazards.

Anyone unable to participate on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day can anonymously surrender their prescription drugs at any state police post, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, excluding holidays.