MSP partners with DEA to take back unused, unwanted prescription drugs

If you’ve got unused and unwanted prescription drugs lying about your medicine cabinet, you’ll be able to gather them and drop them off at your local Michigan State Police post this Saturday.

The MSP has partnered with the DEA for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is meant as a safer disposal method than flushing unused drugs down the toilet. It also cuts down on the prescription drugs that may be abused or taken accidentally by children.

Sgt. Kevin Dowling, with the Negaunee Post of the Michigan State Police, said, “There are a few things that we want to make sure people understand before coming to the post to drop off medications: The DEA won’t take liquids; they won’t take patches; they won’t take syringes; and they won’t take powders.”

Sgt. Dowling also said not to bring the prescription medication container with your personal information on it, and to dispose of those yourselves. Rather, bring the pills and capsules in a plastic bag.

The initiative has been going on for several years and the number of medications turned in has leveled out over time.

“Several years ago when the DEA first started this there was a huge influx of unused medications that were being disposed of,” Sgt. Dowling said. “There are a little bit fewer medications being turned in, mainly because I think we’re catching up and doing it on a regular basis. It’s not such an arduous task.”

A supervisor will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to handle any medications that are dropped off.

The DEA and MSP hold prescription drug take-backs on a semi-annual basis. In addition, the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority has drop off locations at local police departments that are checked daily.