National Drug Take Back Day
Written by Leah Karas
October 22, 2016: 12th National Drug Take Back Day
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the numbers of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Residents are encouraged to bring unused prescription medications to drop off locations in effort to dispose of the medication in a safe manner. This is a safe alternative to flushing medication down the toilet or drain, which causes chemicals to pollute the water supply.
On October 22, 2016, the Genesee County Prevention Coalition partnered with the local law enforcement to support the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 12th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. According to the DEA, the goal of the Prescription Take Back Day is “to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.” In the past 11 Take Back Day’s, over six years, the DEA and its partners have collected more than 6.4 million pounds of pills.
The Genesee County Prevention Coalition created flyers for the local law enforcement agencies that registered with the DEA to help them promote their site location. There were also coalition members that went out to some of the sites to assist in the event and help raise awareness in the community on these issues. The following local law enforcements registered with the DEA as official participants of the Take Back Day on October 22, 2016 while partnering with the Genesee County Prevention Coalition:
· Baker College of Flint Campus Safety
· Burton City Police Department
· Grand Blanc Township Police Department
· Mott Community College Public Safety
· Mundy Township Police Department/City of Swartz Creek
· Michigan State Police
There are many locations throughout Genesee County that are permanent prescription drug collection sites, including the ones listed above. A complete list of these sites in Genesee County can be found at www.StopPrescriptionAbuse.com.
The 13th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be in the spring of 2017. The Genesee County Prevention Coalition will continue to strengthen its relationship with the local law enforcement agencies in Genesee County as well as work to raise awareness in the community regarding prescription drug abuse and the drug take back sites that are available.