Did you know that, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined? Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
This Saturday, April 28, the Drug Enforcement Administration and its community partners will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. On Saturday, the DEA and its partners will hold their fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at sites nationwide. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Locally, the Cedar Springs Police Department will have a drop box available to dispose of medications between noon and 2 p.m., during the surplus auction behind City Hall, 66 S. Main St. They do not accept liquids or syringes. But they do accept pills in their packs or bottles. According to Police Chief Roger Parent, the bottles and pills will be destroyed in an incinerator so there is no danger of anyone getting someone’s prescription information.
If you can’t make it Saturday, the Cedar Springs Police also has that drop box available inside City Hall during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In Rockford, both the Michigan State Police and the Rockford Police Department will collect medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. “Prescription drug abuse is a major epidemic across the country and DEA is committed to reducing the potential for misuse by providing a safe and secure method for Americans to clean out their medicine cabinets and properly dispose of unwanted, unneeded, or expired medication,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Americans responded overwhelmingly to DEA’s first three Take-Back Day events, disposing of nearly 500 tons of medication in the past two years. This nationwide community effort prevents home medicine cabinets from becoming sources of dangerous—and even deadly—drugs.”