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Michigan OPEN

OPEN Partnered to Host Take Back Events in 32 Communities Around the State on April 30, 2022

May 5, 2022

Ann Arbor – On Saturday, April 30, Michigan residents in 16 counties had a chance to get opioids and other unused and expired prescription medications out of their medicine cabinets through 32 simultaneous events held around the state. The collective effort resulted in hundreds of families safely removing a total of over 2000 pounds of medication, including approximately 38,000 opioids, from their homes while also increasing awareness in the community about safe medication disposal.

The statewide effort is made possible by local partnerships with the University of Michigan’s  Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN) and healthcare organizations, law enforcement, and community organizations. OPEN works with partners to hold community opioid and medication take back events twice a year.

“We hold these events every spring and fall and are so pleased with the growth we are seeing across the state,” said Dr. Chad Brummett, co-director of OPEN.  “Our events are community-based, providing a safe and convenient way to dispose of unused medications thereby removing the risks associated with opioids from our communities. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen a rise in opioid use disorder and opioid-related mortalities.”

When participants were asked how they disposed of medications prior to coming to the event, more than 50% answered they “did not dispose at all,” highlighting the need for these community events.

OPEN’s efforts with take back events have led to more than 23,000 pounds of unused medications and over 440, 00 opioids being collected and properly disposed of.

If you are interested in planning for the next takeback day in October 2022, consider working with local partners to create a take back event in your own community. Visit our website and/or review our event planning guide.