Six locations across the State of Michigan participated in drug take-back events on May 20, 2017. The free, no questions asked chance to get rid of opioids and other unneeded medicines out of the house took place in Ann Arbor, Jackson, Saginaw, Traverse City, Escanaba, and Pontiac.
The results of the combined events were significant, bringing in close to 600 people dropping off 421 pounds of pills. The oldest pain medication returned was from 1976 and more than 15,000 opioids across all of the events were collected. The most common reason for people to have excess medications was from surgery.
The Michigan OPEN-led event aimed to reduce the number of houses that have opioid pain medications on hand, as well as other medicines that shouldn’t be kept around or dumped in the trash or down the toilet. Michigan OPEN co-director, Chad Brummett, M.D., said, “We were very proud to partner with others to make it easy for people to get these medications out of the house before they fall into the wrong hands or get into the natural environment. We can’t thank all of our partners enough, both healthcare and law enforcement, because without them these events would not have been possible.”
The take-back events were sponsored by local health organizations and Michigan Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology in collaboration with Michigan OPEN.