From left, Orchard Lake City Councilwoman DuAnne Sonneville, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Orchard Lake Police Chief Joe George stand with Tracy Chirikas, a member of the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, Sept. 17 at Orchard Lake City Hall during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of Operation Medicine Cabinet.

From left, Orchard Lake City Councilwoman DuAnne Sonneville, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Orchard Lake Police Chief Joe George stand with Tracy Chirikas, a member of the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, Sept. 17 at Orchard Lake City Hall during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of Operation Medicine Cabinet.

Photo provided by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office


Operation Medicine Cabinet comes to Orchard Lake

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 28, 2018

ORCHARD LAKE  — What is one of the most easily accessible rooms in the house? Many might say the bathroom. 

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said that medicine cabinets in bathrooms are also easily accessible, and they have the potential to be a starting point for illegal and dangerous activity involving prescription drugs.

“So they are in the medicine cabinet and somebody goes in there, whether it is a grandchild or whatever the case may be. … That’s how a tremendous amount (of prescription drugs end) up on the street,” he said.

Solutions — in the form of a box — have been popping up all over the county to solve that problem.

Operation Medicine Cabinet, a prescription drug collection program, made its Orchard Lake debut with a ribbon-cutting event Sept. 17 at the Orchard Lake Police Department, located at City Hall.

The Orchard Lake Police Department joined forces with Operation Medicine Cabinet in partnership with Bouchard and the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities.

“Come by Orchard Lake City Hall … and drop off drugs, prescriptions, that are either out of date, unused or whatever the particular situation is,” Bouchard said, adding that dropping off prescription drugs in the box gets them off the street, out of the wrong hands and out of the water supply — because there are residual effects in the water when drugs are flushed, even after a purification process. 

Orchard Lake Police Chief Joe George said that his Police Department is the 37th one in the county to offer the program. The service is available 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, excluding holidays. The program is open to Orchard Lake residents only.

George added that the program only accepts prescription pills, and not liquids or syringes.

“As long as they are secured and wrapped up in a bottle,” he said, adding that over-the-counter painkillers are also not accepted. “I think it is a good thing because all of us, at some point, we have prescriptions that … just sit around the house.”

George said that the program gives residents an opportunity to get the medicine properly disposed of, rather than throwing it away.

Drug Enforcement Administration officials will destroy the drugs “properly, without causing any type of a hazard,” George said, adding that previously, a twice-a-year drug takeback program through Walgreens, sponsored by the DEA, has been offered in the area. He is uncertain whether that particular program will continue.

“Now people have the option to come in 52 weeks a year, not just twice a year,” he said. 

“We are glad to do it with them,” George said of Operation Medicine Cabinet.

For more information, go to www.cityoforchardlake.com.