MSP sets Drug Take-Back Day for Saturday

Most everyone likely has a little plastic bottle of unused, outdated pills sitting on a back shelf in their home.

Those medications might have been needed when the back went out, to battle a bug or to deal with an injury or surgery long since healed.

The practice used to be to flush such medications down the toilet or sink. But that’s now discouraged, considering that trace amounts of different pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, hormones, mood stabilizers and other drugs — have turned up in drinking water supplies and rivers and streams, according to media reports.

Yet keeping these medications in the home can be risky as well. A young child might stumble across them. Or someone hooked on prescription drugs, may decide to go hunting — studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

So best to get them out of the household.

And Saturday, the Michigan State Police offers a way to do that, safely and properly.

The MSP again will partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement agencies for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

MSP’s 30 posts, including the one in Iron Mountain, will serve as drop-off points for state residents to discard expired, unused and unwanted pills, which will be destroyed with no questions asked.

“Taking a few minutes to go through your home and discard these medications is something small that can have a huge impact,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “The devastation caused by opioid and prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses is real. We urge you to do all you can to help us fight this crisis.”

The state is using every available tool to combat the opioid epidemic. Efforts include:

— A one-stop shop website at michigan.gov/opioids, with information and resources on the epidemic;

— Online resources for patients, health professionals and communities about prevention and treatment of opioid abuse;

— The Michigan Automated Prescription System providing real-time prescription data and resources to better assess a patient’s risk for substance use disorder;

— MSP posts serving as drug take-back sites and providing the Angel Program for individuals struggling with addiction;

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day takes place twice a year. MSP posts in October collected nearly 950 pounds of prescription drugs. Note: Liquids, inhalers, patches and syringes cannot be accepted.

The Iron Mountain MSP post is at 1916 N. Stephenson Ave. on the city’s North Side. Other collection sites across the state can be found at www.dea.gov.

Have something else that demands your time this weekend? Those unable to participate on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day can anonymously surrender prescription drugs at any MSP post from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

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