How to dispose of unused prescription meds responsibly

Saturday, Oct. 23, is National Prescription Drug Takeback Day

Pills are emptied into a collection box in California as part of a previous National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This year's event is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. (Photo by MediaNews Group/Marin Independent Journal via Getty Images)

Pills are emptied into a collection box in California as part of a previous National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This year's event is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. (Photo by MediaNews Group/Marin Independent Journal via Getty Images)

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Got drugs? The Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD), along with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), would like to help you dispose of them responsibly.

National Prescription Drug Takeba ck Day is Saturday, Oct. 23. This event is DEA’s nationwide event since its inception 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.

April 2021 marked the 20th National Take Back Day where Americans turned in nearly 884,000 pounds of prescription drugs at over 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and over 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

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.

National Prescription Drug Takeback Day is a single day event. CMDHD also offers several services through Exchange Central, its local syringe service program. Exchange Central is a harm reduction program to reduce the harms of substance use on an individual and community basis. 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 our website at www.cmdhd.org.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 23 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.

IF YOU GO

• When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23

• Where: Reed City Police Department, 227 E. Lincoln Ave., Reed City; Evart Police Department, 137 N. River St., Evart.

• More locations may be found at www.DEATakeBack.com.

Central Michigan District Health Department serves the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon. Visit www.cmdhd.org, LIKE Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook and follow @CMiDHD on Twitter.