Prescription drug Take Back Day Oct. 22

The public is invited to dispose of unwanted prescription medication during the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Take Back Day Oct. 22.

Seven area law enforcement agencies will participate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The public can dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription pills and patches only — no liquids, needles or sharps — at any of the following sites:

• Dearborn Police Department, 16099 Michigan Ave.
• Melvindale Police Department, 3100 Oakwood Blvd.
• Michigan State Police Metro South Post, 12111 Telegraph Road, Taylor.
• Riverview Police Department, 14100 Civic Park Drive.
• Southgate Police Department, 14710 Reaume Parkway.
• Taylor Police Department, 23515 Goddard.
• Wyandotte Police Department, 2015 Biddle.

The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.

Last April, the 11th Take Back Day in six years, Americans turned in 447 tons (more than 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds — about 3,200 tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, according to the DEA. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are “alarmingly high,” as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to the DEA. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about Take Back Day, go to the DEA Diversion Control Division website.