WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Every day, more than 40 people die from a prescription drug overdose, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
One way to curb this alarming statistic is to get prescription drugs off the street through National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is Saturday, Oct. 22.
It’s easy to forget about drugs you no longer need; they get pushed to the back of a cabinet or become buried in a pile of clutter in a closet.
However, these forgotten prescription drugs can easily fall into the hands of children or teenagers.
“There’s an opioid crisis going on in the U.S. What’s one of the best ways to make sure no one in the house can be exposed to these when they are not needed to be exposed to them? Get them out of the house,” said Metro Health spokesperson Ellen Bristol.
There is a right way and a wrong way to get rid of unwanted prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Throwing them out in the trash, flushing them down the toilet or washing them down the drain are environmental hazards.
A better solution: dropping off unwanted drugs at a designated location during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Metro Health Hospital is partnering with the Wyoming Police Department for their 11th take back event. Over the years, they’ve collected 3,300 pounds of unwanted, unneeded or expired drugs.
As part of the partnership, Metro Health and the city of Wyoming will also replace mercury thermometers with new digital thermometers, while supplies last.
A police officer will be present for the event, but that shouldn’t hold anyone back.
“They don’t interact with the people. They don’t ask any questions. They’re just there to make sure everyone is safe,” said Bristol.
Metro Health will also have a pharmacist on hand to answer questions.
Metro Health’s Drug Take Back Day runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 in the main lobby of Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming.
At the end of the event, the drugs will be collected in sealed bags and incinerated at Kent County’s Waste-to-Energy Facility.
People who cannot attend the Metro Health event can find an Oct. 22 drug drop-off location on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website.
Drug Enforcement Administration: Find a prescription drug drop-off location