National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day slated for Saturday

MANISTEE — Red Med Boxes might look like a mail box, but they are for the proper disposal of unwanted over-the-counter and prescription medications.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, all area Red Med Box locations will be open as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

They are currently located at: Family Fare, Manistee City Police Department, Manistee County Sheriff’s Department and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Public Safety Department.

Using them is easy. Bring in all unwanted medications in the original container, mark out the patient’s name with black marker, do not mark out the medication name, go to the lobby of one of the drop off sites and place medications in the box.

There is no need to check in or sign any paperwork. The medication is routinely collected by law enforcement and taken to an incinerator for disposal.

This effort started out of the need to address the opioid epidemic by decreasing the number of opioids in the community and providing easy access for safe disposal of unused medications.

According to the latest Michigan’s Automated Prescription System statistics, over 76 opioid and narcotic pills were prescribed per person in 2016 statewide.

The purchase of the boxes was made possible through funding from Public Act 2 (Liquor Tax Funds) through the Northern Michigan Regional Entity. Red Med Boxes accept all medications — pills, liquid or patches — but no sharps or lancets.

Red Med Box will accept expired or unused medications; over the counter medications; antibiotics/steroids; cold and flu medication; vitamins and herbal supplements; medication samples; pet medications; medicated ointment, lotion and drops; unopened epi-pens; and liquid medication.

Red Med Box will not accept needles, lancets and syringes; thermometers; IV bags; bloody or infectious waste; hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol; business waste; empty containers; personal care products; used epi-pens; aerosol cans; electronic devices; and inhalers.


Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or

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