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Farmington Hills

April 24, 2013

Prescription Drug Take Back Day looks to dispose of expired drugs

FHPD, DEA partner for April 27 event

By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer

FARMINGTON HILLS — The semi-annual Prescription Drug Take Back Day is back, giving residents a safe way to dispose of expired or unused prescription medications.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 27, the Farmington Hills Police Department, 31655 11 Mile, is pushing for a mass collection of unused prescription drugs from residents as part of a partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“It gives the citizens a safe way to dispose of the medicine,” Cmdr. Dave Stasch said. “You look back at the historical poundage and it’s been pretty high. And that’s minus the casings.”

The event collected 56 pounds of prescription drugs Sept. 29, 2012, and 62 pounds in April 2012, officials said. The DEA collected nearly 14,000 pounds of unwanted or expired medications at 172 sites throughout the state last September.

“For a couple years, I think, we were the highest contributor,” Stasch said of the Detroit region’s DEA intake.

Although the event is a one-day thing, the collection of prescription drugs is an ongoing effort, thanks to the Oakland County Sheriff’s 24/7 Operation Medicine Cabinet program, which the Police Department joined nearly three years ago. That program allows residents to drop off unused or unneeded prescription drugs in a white box, similar in size to a blue postal mailbox, in the police station lobby.

The DEA and the county incinerate the drugs that are collected, removing the potential for abuse or misuse.

According to police, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated there are more than 6 million nonmedical users of prescription drugs in the U.S., and the survey showed “more Americans abuse prescription drugs than the number of cocaine, heroin and hallucinogen abusers combined.”

The 29 Michigan State Police posts will also be participating in the one-day event.

“It is important for Michigan residents to have a safe and confidential way to dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, MSP director, in a release. “Take Back Day provides a convenient way for them to do so and helps prevent potential hazards of the misuse of these medications.”

Guidelines for prescription drug collection require the drugs to be in Ziploc bags, with only prescription drugs being collected. Liquids, ointments and creams must all be sealed. Needles will not be accepted, and people must sign a login sheet.

For more information, call the Police Department Investigative Bureau at (248) 871-2770, or visit www.dea.gov or www.oakgov.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Chris Jackett at cjackett@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1110.