Big Rapids DPS to host drug take-back day event

BIG RAPIDS — It’s time for spring cleaning and that includes getting rid of unwanted prescription medications.

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, in which local and state police agencies partner with the National Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to dispose of prescription drugs.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, 435 N. Michigan Ave., will serve as a drop-off location for medications.

“Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem,” said DPS Director Jim Eddinger. “We take complaints involving grandchildren visiting grandparents and taking medicine from the cabinet. We want to prevent those incidents anytime we can.”

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to a release from Michigan State Police. Further, disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can pose safety and health hazards.

“These medications are not something you just want to dump down the drain or have go into the ground,” Eddinger said.

Michigan State Police posts, including the Cadillac, Rockford and Mount Pleasant post, also will serve as drop-off points from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. All collected pills will be destroyed. No liquids, inhalers, patches or syringes will be accepted.

“With opioid and prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses becoming all too common, I strongly urge Michiganders to use this opportunity to check what is in your medicine cabinet and then properly dispose of any medications you no longer need,” said Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is held twice a year, in April and October. During the October 2017 effort, Michigan State Police posts collected roughly 802 pounds of prescription drugs.

Throughout the year, DPS, along with the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Reed City Police Department and the Ferris State University DPS have collection boxes for prescription medication. These boxes can be used whenever the lobby is open at any location.

“We work with the DEA and Ten16 Recovery Network to take drugs to the incinerator to be destroyed,” Eddinger said. “This is  truly having an impact on reducing the drugs in our community. Hundreds of pounds of medications are destroyed.”

Anyone with questions regarding the local event, including what items can be dropped off, can contact DPS at (231) 527-0005.

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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