Medication recovery events encourage safe disposal of unwanted drugs

BIG RAPIDS – Everyone is encouraged to clean their medicine cabinets and take advantage of the free medication take-back events this Saturday at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals.

This free, anonymous public service is part of the 19th National Prescription Drug Recovery Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice.

At the local level, Spectrum Health, Ten16 Recovery Network and the Mecosta Osceola Substance Awareness Coalition are teaming up to provide safe and practical possibilities to get rid of these unwanted objects.

Events are held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Reed City Hospital Multi-Specialty Clinic, 300 N. Patterson Road in Reed City and Big Rapids Hospital, 605 Oak St. in Big Rapids.

Items accepted include over-the-counter and prescription drugs, liquids, ointments, inhalers, needles, and pet medications. Containers full of needles can be exchanged for empty containers while stocks last.

“Last year Michigan recorded 2,684 opioid-related deaths and many can be related to prescription drugs,” said Dr. Colleen Lane, medical director of addiction medicine, Spectrum Health. “By taking unused medicines to drop-off sites in your area, you play a vital role in the safety of your community. “

Naxolone (Narcan) will also be available free to community members after receiving education on the overdose prevention drug. Naxolone quickly restores normal breathing to a person who may have suffered an accidental life-threatening overdose from prescription and other opioids.

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency advises the public not to flush drugs down the toilet or throw them in the trash, as this presents potential health and safety risks.

For more information, call 231-592-4204.

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