A handful of medication

Dispose of Unwanted, Expired, and Unused Medications At This Free Event

Is your medicine cabinet full of expired drugs or medications you no longer use? The Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (Michigan-OPEN) is partnering with hospitals and police departments around the state to host a medication take-back event in several locations on Saturday, May 20.

What is it? Michigan Medication Take-Back Events

When is it? Saturday, May 20 from 10am to 2pm

Where? The take-back events are being held at five different locations around the state:

  • Ann Arbor – Pioneer High School Parking Lot (Anesthesiology, University of Michigan and Ann Arbor Police)
  • Escanaba – Walgreens, 2301 Ludington St. (Walgreens and Escanaba Department of Public Safety)
  • Jackson – Jackson Police Department Lobby (Surgery, Henry Ford Allegiance Health and Jackson Police)
  • Saginaw – Heritage High School Parking (Surgery, CMU Health and College of Medicine and Saginaw Township Police)
  • Traverse City – Thomas Judd Care Center (Munson Medical Center and Traverse City Police)

What is accepted for disposal? Prescription and over the counter pills and capsules, including controlled substances (narcotic pain medications [i.e. morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Vicodin, Norco], sedatives, etc) and pet medications

What is NOT accepted for disposal? Liquids, EpiPens, creams or gels, needles or syringes or lancets, thermometers, IV bags, sprays, vials, inhalers, and powders.

Subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on times and locations, please check: https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/pain-research/michigan-medication-take-back-program

Why should I dispose of my medications?

Safely disposing of medication protects our communities, our children, and our environment. According to the Monitoring the Future Survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), most of the teens reporting use of prescription medications say that they obtained them from friends or family members, with one-fifth to one-quarter reporting taking them without permission. Additionally, 2014 data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers indicates nearly 80% of poison exposures involve swallowing a substance, and of those exposures, 57% involve medications and pharmaceuticals.

Why not just flush my medications or throw them in the garbage?

Flushing medications down the drain or toilet is effective in preventing misuse or accidental ingestion but leads to medications being discharged into our surface and ground water. In 2008, the Associated Press reported that at least 46 million Americans are supplied water that has tested positive for trace concentrations of pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical contamination of water also has a negative impact on the ecosystem. You can help by safely disposing of your medications!

What if I cannot make this event?

If we are not hosting an event near you or you are unable to attend the event, you can safely dispose of your medications by identifying a nearby medication drop-off location on this map. The map is searchable by city or zip code. Contact information for each site is also provided. Please call to confirm a site’s hours of operation and continued participation in medication disposal.

For any questions or feedback on this event, please contact the Michigan OPEN team at MichiganOPEN@umich.edu.

For more information about Michigan OPEN, check out:



For more about the current opioid epidemic in Michigan, see the following blogs:





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