Medication take-back event a success

REED CITY — More than 200 pounds of needles and medication have been safely disposed of, after Spectrum Health hosted two local safe disposal events.

Medication and needle take-back events took place on March 15 and 17 at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals. The hospitals partnered with the Ten16 Recovery Network to provide the opportunities for residents in Mecosta and Osceola counties to safely get rid of the unwanted items.

Kim Livingston, Ten16 Recovery Network prevention coordinator, said 41.5 pounds of medications and 69.7 pounds of needles were collected in Reed City, while 51 pounds of medications and 42.7 pounds of needles were collected in Big Rapids. In total, 92.5 pounds of medication and 112.4 pounds of needles were collected to be properly disposed.

"The number we collected is adequate," Livingston said. "It made the event worthwhile, especially because most places don't take needles. Usually, you have to take them when the hazardous waste drive takes place, which is only once a year."

Safe disposal ensures the items will not harm the environment or fall into the wrong hands, she added.

"It's extremely important to dispose of these items properly because if they aren't, our lakes, rivers and streams get polluted, and disposing of them prevents people looking to abuse drugs," Livingston said.

Due to the success of the events, additional events will take place on July 25 and 26 and Dec. 6 and 8 at both hospitals. Over-the-counter medications, prescription, liquids, inhalers, ointments, pet medications and needles will be accepted.

For more information, call (231) 592-4493.