The DEA says prescription drug use is the second most common form of drug abuse in the U.S., trailing only marijuana. Unused or expired pills also contaminate the water supply if they’re flushed down the toilet.
Prescription Drug Takeback Day addressed both problems on Saturday. Anyone could drop off medications free of charge to be disposed of with no questions asked. All 29 Michigan State Police posts served as drop-off points.
“This would be the perfect place to bring it,” Sgt. Joe O’Hagan of the Michigan State Police Negaunee Post said. “We’ll dispose of it properly; we do that in conjunction with the DEA. Most things will go to an incinerator. We’re more than happy to have as many people bring what they have, and we’ll dispose of it.”
Over-the-counter medications were accepted, but liquids and powders were not. Neither were pill bottles because of the personal information included on the labels.
“One of the best things to do is just empty all your prescription pills into a Ziploc plastic bag,” Sgt. O’Hagan said. “That way, you can secure the pills in the bags, you can bring them to us, we’ll dispose of them right here. That way, none of them get lost in the car or lost along the way when you’re bringing them to us.”
The police departments in Marquette, Chocolay Township and Ishpeming also collected the drugs. So did Escanaba Public Safety, the Schoolcraft County Sheriff’s Department and the Hannahville Tribal Police.