National Drug Take Back Day set for Saturday

Here’s what you need to know

You can’t flush them down the toilet. You can’t just throw them directly in the garbage. So what should you do with your extra prescriptions?

Millions of people misused prescription pain relivers, stimulants and and other medication in 2019, according to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and the majority of those who misused prescriptions got them from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet.

To help combat drug addition and overdoses, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency created the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Here’s five things to know about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

1. What is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day?

Twice a year, law enforcement agencies across the country join the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to provide a safe way for Americans to dispose of extra prescription drugs.

Last October, 4,153 agencies collected nearly 432 tons.

2. When is the next collection day?

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24.

3. Where can I find a collection site?

Many law enforcement agencies are participating in event, including the Mecosta County and Osceola County Sheriff’s Offices, Ferris State Public Safety, and police departments from Big Rapid, Reed City and Evart.

In addition, residents may drop off unwanted prescriptions at Spectrum Health Big Rapids or Reed City hospitals. For more locations, visit

4. What if I miss National Prescription Take Back Day?

If you are busy between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, don’t worry. Many local pharmacies will take unwanted prescriptions year-round. To find a location, visit or call your local pharmacy.

To dispose of medication safely in the garbage, the DEA provides the following instructions:

• Remove the medicine from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.

• Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty bag or other container to prevent leaking or escaping the garbage bag.

5. Health department offering additional services

Central Michigan District Health Department will be partnering with Ten16 Recovery Network’s Prevention Coalition in hosting a medication takeback event at its Clare County location, 805 Beech St. in Clare. Also available will be sharps disposal, sharps containers and Nasal Naloxone with onsite Overdose Prevention training. This event will take place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday, April 23.

CMDHD serves the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon. For more information, visit, LIKE Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @CMiDHD.