Farmington Hills to participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published April 23, 2021

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FARMINGTON HILLS — Residents can soon drop off unwanted and unused prescription medication in a safe, no-questions-asked manner.

The Farmington Hills Police Department plans to partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration in hosting Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at police headquarters, at 31655 W. 11 Mile Road, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 24.

The department participates in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day twice annually, in April and October. Though the event is a big day for people to bring in these drugs, the department will accept these drugs any day of the year.

Recreational use of prescription drugs is a serious problem among teens and adults. According to the National Safety Council, teens are more likely to abuse a prescription drug than an illegal street drug, and 70% of those who abused prescription painkillers reported getting them through friends or relatives.

“We wanted to do everything we could to assist our community in removing the pills, narcotics, the prescription drugs from access to those that they were unintended for and to do anything we could to remove them from any kind of illegal circulation or illegal use. It was always focused with safety in mind,” Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King said.

Farmington Hills has participated in these events since the program began in 2010. At the most recent event in October 2020, they collected 266 pounds of prescription drugs from homes throughout the community. The drugs were then destroyed by the DEA in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

The total amount of prescription drugs collected nationally by the DEA since the program began is now over 12 million pounds. Unwanted prescription drugs are accepted anonymously in any type of container, and no identifying information is required.

The DEA does not accept liquids. To dispose of liquids, free Deterra Drug Deactivation pouches are available at the Police Department’s front desk. Each take-home pouch deactivates 6 ounces of cream or liquid, six patches, or 45 pills, rendering them inert and nonretrievable.

Expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs accessible in homes can promote abuse and create a risk to public health and safety, police said.

“I think it’s extremely important for the fact that it keeps the medications out of the water system and it also keeps the medication out of other people’s hands,” Farmington Hills Assistant Police Chief Bonnie Unruh said. Drugs in the water system can cause pharmaceutical pollution with unknown consequences.

Residents of any city may participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and everyone must wear a mask when they enter police headquarters. With recent years being so successful, police noted that it is nice to see that people are involved in making the community safer.

For more information, call the Investigative Bureau at (248) 871-2770.

“A lot of investigation and a lot of research has been done into the opioid pandemic, and some of the connections with prescription narcotics and painkillers and things like that,” King said. “There’s never been and there never will be a lack of need for this kind of program to make our community safe.”