Doing some spring cleaning? If you have old prescriptions hanging out in your medicine cabinet you want to get rid of, it's the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 30.

Where Can You Dispose of Unwanted Drugs?

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can visit any Michigan State Police post to safely discard of expired, unused and unwanted pills. Note that no liquids, inhalers, patches or syringes are accepted.

In West Michigan there are MSP posts in Grand Rapids, Wayland, Paw Paw, Marshall, Niles, Heart, Mt. Pleasant, and Lakeview. You can find addresses and additional locations here.

Why Does the DEA Host Drug Takeback Day?

The DEA says,

The drug overdose epidemic in the United States is a clear and present public health, public safety, and national security threat. DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day reflects DEA’s commitment to Americans’ safety and health, encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.

The Takeback Days give the public a safe and anonymous way to dispose of prescription drugs so they don't make their way into the wrong hands.

On the last Takeback Day, in October 2021, 744,082 lbs. (372 Tons) of prescription drugs were collected - Of that, 22,833 lbs. were collected in Michigan.

Why You Shouldn't Throw Away or Flush Prescription Drugs

The Department of Environment Quality does not recommend flushing medications as they can pollute our water and harm animals and people:

When flushed or thrown-out, these drugs end up in our coastal ecosystems; and all the chemicals in those little pills that were once working together to make us feel better, are now dissolving in our waterways where they can negatively impact aquatic animals

Tossing drugs in the trash could also lead to the medication finding its way into out water systems, and it could create an opportunity for illegal use or accidental poisoning.

If you're not able to make it to an MSP post to dispose of your unwanted meds this Saturday, you can find additional takeback locations throughout the state of Michigan here.

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