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MSP to host a Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 26

Most everyone likely has a little plastic bottle of unused, outdated pills sitting on a back shelf in their home.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 an addict, hooked on prescription drugs, may decide to break in and go searching.

So best to get them out of the household.

And Oct. 26, the Michigan State Police will offer 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. that Saturday.

MSP’s 30 posts, including the one in Iron Mountain, will participate by serving as drop-off points for state residents to discard expired, unused and unwanted pills, which will be destroyed.

“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,” said Col. Joe Gasper, MSP director. “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.”

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

— A one-stop shop website at 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 that 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;

— The MSP 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 others, go to michigan.gov/opioids.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day takes place twice a year. MSP posts in April collected 1,184 pounds of prescription drugs.

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

All collected pills will be destroyed, with no questions asked. 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 Oct. 26? 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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