Michiganders from eight communities had a chance to drop unneeded medications off for free on September 30, as part of the largest drug take-back event…
Now Recruiting Sites for the Spring Take Back Event!
The Michigan OPEN 2018 Spring Take Back Event day is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2018. If you’re interested in hosting an event, please fill out the event notification form linked below ASAP to get the process started.
About our opioid take back events
Community opioid and medication take-back events provide a safe process for disposing of unused medications while protecting our communities, children and environment. Our most recent drive in September 2017 was held in Ann Arbor, Commerce, Escanaba, Jackson, Livonia, Pontiac, Saginaw, and Traverse City. The collective effort of the September drive resulted in 766 families safely removing a total of 900 pounds of medication, including approximately 17,500 opioids from their homes, while also increasing awareness in the community about safe medication disposal.
Why host a medication take back event?
The United States is currently experiencing an epidemic of prescription drug misuse and abuse. 12.5 million people age 12 and older misused opioids (pain medications) in the past year. Since 1999, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled. Every day, 115 Americans die from an opioid-related overdose – that is more than the number of people killed in car accidents or by guns.
Opioids relieve pain by affecting how your brain and central nervous system process painful stimuli and are often prescribed during episodes of acute pain, such as after surgery, trauma, or dental procedure. However, a recent study found that approximately 70% of the opioids prescribed for surgery go unused, making them vulnerable to diversion and misuse.
To turn the tide on the opioid epidemic, we need to prevent opioid abuse before it starts. Increasing safe and convenient opportunities for community members to dispose of their unused and leftover medications is essential. A recent study found most of the teens reporting use of prescription medications obtained them from friends or family members, with one-fifth to one-quarter reporting taking them without permission. Leftover opioids also pose a poison risk to young children. Every 10 minutes a child visits the emergency room for medication poisoning.
What is required to host a medication take back event?
A take back event requires a law enforcement partner, a location, volunteers, and a collection receptacle for the pills. Opioids are controlled substances regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. An armed law enforcement officer must be present at all times and maintain custody of the collected medications. The Michigan OPEN Medication Take Back Event Guide can assist you with planning and management of your take back event.
What are existing methods for disposing of opioids?
Approved opioid collectors, primarily pharmacies and law enforcement agencies, and special take-back events are the safest and most environmentally-friendly means of disposing unneeded medications. If these options are not available, recommendations are to remove pills from their container and throw them away in household trash with an unpalatable substance or flush them down the toilet. Unfortunately, flushing medications leads to pharmaceuticals being discharged into our surface and ground water. Managing unused, unwanted and expired medications is a safety as well as an environmental concern. Safety and accidental poisoning concerns for smaller children and family pets are on the rise, however, headlines across the nation are focusing on two distinct areas of concern: the contamination of drinking water supplies with pharmaceuticals, and the rise of teen abuse of prescription medications.
For more information, please see our page on Safe Drug Disposal.
Take Back Event Updates
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…