OSCEOLA COUNTY — Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) announces the 19th annual U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Takeback Day on Saturday, Oct. 24.

This event is DEA’s 19th nationwide event since its inception 10 years ago and was established to provide the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010.

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. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long. For more information, visit DEA’s year-round collection site locator.

To keep everyone safe, collection sites, including CMDHD, will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. CMDHD will not be open to the public, but arrangements can be made to receive a medication dissolvable pouch to dispose of your medications properly through CMDHD’s Syringe Service Program, Exchange Central, by calling or texting the confidential line, (989) 506-6419. Services are free and anonymous; no questions will be asked.

National Prescription Drug Takeback Day is a single day event, we also offer several services through Exchange Central our local syringe service program. Exchange Central is a harm reduction program to reduce the harms of substance use on an individual and community.

Syringe Service Programs are designed to help decrease the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C due to risky practices such as the sharing of needles.

Through Exchange Central individuals have access to clean equipment, Narcan, and sharps containers along with free HIV and Hepatitis C testing. Narcan training is available and secondary exchange is encouraged. Syringe Service Programs are legal, and all participants are protected against all paraphernalia laws. For more information visit cmdhd.org.

The Federal Drug Administration also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs. More information is available here: fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-howdispose-unused-medicines.

IF YOU GO

What: National Prescription Drug Takeback Day

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:

• Reed City Police Department, 229 E. Lincoln Ave., Reed City. 231-832-3743

• Osceola County Sheriff's Office, 325 W. Upton Ave., Reed City. 231-832-2288.

• Evart Police Department, 137 N. River St., Evart (Limited lobby hours; Call or email for pickups.) 231-734-5911

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 24 Take Back Day event, go to DEATakeBack.com.