The DEA will partner with state and local law enforcement to take back unwanted prescriptions drugs this Saturday April 28

On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., State and local law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 15th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to any participating precinct, office or department. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last fall Americans turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,300 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9 million pounds—more than 4,500 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescrip tion drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

In Kent County, at a minimum, there will be collections at the Lowell Police Department; the Wyoming Police Department; Metro Health Hospital; the Grand Rapids Police Department (downtown, One Monroe Center); the Grand Rapids Police Department Widdicomb Building, 665 Seward Ave, N.E.; East Grand Rapids Public; Kentwood Police Department; Rockford Department of Public Safety; and the Michigan State Police  Rockford Post. Other locations may be added by Saturday, and there are numerous other places for drop-off in adjacent counties.

To find out more about these locations, including maps, and for more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, please visit www.DEATakeBack.com, where there is a form to enter zip code, county, or city.