MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Dozens of local agencies and organizations are participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday.
The goal of the event organized by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration is to get unused prescription medications out of homes so they can’t contribute to abuse. Powerful pain medication, in particular, can lead to the abuse of opioids, including heroin.
If you have unused prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet, you can take them back to Michigan State Police posts, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health or Metro Health, and a number of local police agencies including Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming, Holland and Muskegon Heights, among other locations. Take-back hours vary by agency.
The Muskegon Heights Police Department noted that between 8 a.m. and noon, it will take back both prescription drugs and recreational drugs with no questions asked. You can bring the drugs to the police or fire departments, or make contact with a patrol officer and say you want to turn in drugs.
You can go to the DEA’s website to find a drop-off spot close to you.
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The nation is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 33,000 fatal opioid overdoses in 2015 — the most ever recorded. Nearly 2,000 of those deaths were in Michigan, a 13.3 percent increase from the previous year. The CDC classifies that uptick as “statistically significant.”
On Thursday, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency and announced a plan to combat the problem, though that plan will not bring more money to the fight.
Many organizations, including MSP, will take back unused or expired drugs year-round. You can look for drop-off locations on the website for West Michigan Take Back Meds or by contacting your county health department.