Drug Take-Back Day on April 29

Next week, on Saturday, April 29, communities will team up with law enforcement to host a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Prescription medications play an important role in the health of millions of Americans. However, expired medications or unused drugs often stay in the back of cabinets for months or even years. These expired drugs can pose significant health hazards to toddlers, teens, and even family pets who may inadvertently consume medications.

Another important safety issue is the misuse of prescription narcotic drugs. More than 46,000 Americans die each year from drug-related deaths, with more than half being from heroin and prescription opioids.

The Drug Enforcement Administration began hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back events in 2010. At the previous 12 Take-Back Day events, millions of pounds of unwanted, unneeded or expired medications were surrendered for safe and proper disposal.

Locally, the Michigan State Police post at 1916 N. Stephenson Ave. in Iron Mountain will participate in the one-day “Take-Back” effort from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 29 by serving as a drop-off point.

The disposal service is free and anonymous for consumers, with no questions asked. Keep in mind that needles, sharps, asthma inhalers and illicit drugs are not accepted at the drop box.

“Something as simple as removing unused medications from your home can help save lives,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “We are committed to decreasing prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses, which are all too common here in Michigan and across the nation.”

During a one-day effort in October, MSP posts across the state collected a total of 871 pounds of prescription drugs.

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Citizens who are not able to participate on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day can anonymously surrender their prescription drugs at any MSP post, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

Also, on April 29, The Florence County Sheriff’s Office and Florence County Health and Florence County Human Services will provide a free collection from 10 a.m. to noon at the north entrance of the courthouse near the health department, 501 Lake Ave. in Florence.

In addition to medications, the partnership will provide a one-day free collection of syringes and sharps. Normally, the cost is $3 a pound for the sharps collection. Sharps must be in acceptable containers.

For any questions regarding sharps disposal, call the Health Department at 715-528-4837.

As a resource to the community, a drug drop box is also available to people at any time in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office at 501 Lake Ave. in Florence. The drop box accepts over- the-counter medications and prescription medication disposal anonymously. Unmarked liquids are not accepted.

For further questions, call the Florence Sheriff’s Office at 715-528-3346.

Additional collection National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day sites can be found by going to www.dea.gov.


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