Hillsdale Daily News: Drug boxes allow disposal of medication
HILLSDALE – As the opioid crisis continues to ravage the nation, this Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to reduce the number of addicted Americans by decreasing supply nationwide.
“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity for our community to dispose of expired prescription drugs in a safe and responsible way — no questions asked,” said 7th District Congressman Tim Wahlberg in a public service announcement released Tuesday. “It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness and educate our friends and neighbors about the potential for opioid abuse. No effort is too small, and each of us can do our part.”
On Thursday Walberg applauded President Donald Trump’s announcement on the country’s opioid epidemic.
“Heroin and opioid addiction is an epidemic sweeping our country,” he said. “It is devastating the dreams of people we know and love—friends, family, and neighbors—with no signs of stopping. Tragically, communities across Michigan know this pain too well. I commend President Trump for today’s declaration and shining a spotlight on the pressing need for bipartisan action. These additional tools will help bolster Michigan’s response to the opioid epidemic and offer a helping hand to those in need. Tackling this crisis must be a national priority, and I’ll continue to work closely with officials at every level to reverse the trends of addiction.”
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day emphasizes the important role that anyone with expired prescription drugs can play in fighting the opioid crisis.
“Eighty percent of [people that have a heroin addiction] start out using prescription pain medication,” said Laurie Brandes, coordinator for the Hillsdale County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.
“So, it really is important that people dispose of their unwanted and unused pain medications, because people who are seeking will go to other people’s medicine cabinets.”
The following counties will be participating on Saturday: Branch, Eaton, Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe and Washtenaw, with the sheriffs’ offices or police departments serving as disposal sites. In Branch County prescription drugs can be dropped off at the Branch County Sheriff’s Office and they will be collected at the Michigan State Police Post in Jackson.
Aside from some advertising leading up to the event, Brandes said that Hillsdale County won’t be doing anything out of the ordinary for the day. But, that’s primarily because Hillsdale and the City of Jonesville already have drop boxes that are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those drop boxes are at Hillsdale City Hall and the Jonesville Police Department.
“That’s the main way [to help combat the opioid epidemic] we would say, is to dispose of your unwanted medications,” Brandes said.
“I was just at the Senior Center Health Fair last Friday passing out information and it just amazed me still that people don’t know that those drop boxes are available and how easy they are to use,” she said.
This article originally appeared in the October 27 edition of the Hillsdale Daily News.