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 on Saturday, September 30.
What is it? Medication Take-Back Event
When is it? Saturday, September 30 from 10am to 2pm
Where? The take-back drive is being held at eight different locations around the state (this is subject to change, so check here for the most up-to-date information on times and locations):
- Ann Arbor – Pioneer High School Parking Lot (hosted by University of Michigan Department of Anesthesiology and Ann Arbor Police)
- Commerce – Fire Department #2 (hosted by Commerce Fire Department and Oakland County Sheriff)
- Escanaba – Walgreens Parking Lot (hosted by OSF St. Francis Hospital and Walgreens)
- Jackson – Center for Family Health (hosted by the Center for Family Health, Henry Ford Allegiance Health, and Jackson Police)
- Livonia – New Oakland Family Center Parking Lot (hosted by New Oakland Family and Livonia Police)
- Pontiac – Joseph Mercy Oakland (hosted by St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and Oakland County Sheriff)
- Saginaw – Covenant Healthcare Professional Office Building (hosted by Covenant Healthcare and Saginaw Township Police)
- Traverse City – Munson Community Health Center (hosted by Munson Medical and Traverse City Police)
What is accepted for disposal? Prescription and over-the-counter pills and capsules, including controlled substances (sedatives and narcotic pain medications like morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Vicodin and Norco) and pet medications
What is NOT accepted for disposal? Liquids; EpiPens; creams or gels; needles, syringes or lancets; thermometers; IV bags; sprays; vials; inhalers and powders
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 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 percent of poison exposures involve swallowing a substance, and of those exposures, 57 percent 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, which 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.
If you have any questions or feedback on this event, please contact the Michigan OPEN team at MichiganOPEN@umich.edu. To learn more about Michigan OPEN, check out their website, michigan-open.org, and this blog post. For more about the current opioid epidemic in Michigan, see the following blogs:
- Beyond Numbers: Michigan’s Prescription Opioid Problem Deserves Attention
- The Safe Way to Take Prescription Opioid Pain Medications
- Danger in the Medicine Cabinet: Rethinking Prescription Opioids
Photo credit: Pixabay