Beaumont encourages public to drop off unused pills April 28

Every day, more people die from opioid-related overdoses than from car accidents or gun violence. To turn the tide on the nation’s opioid epidemic, community members need a safe and convenient way to dispose of unused medications.

Beaumont Health, in connection with the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network, along with community organizations, including local law enforcement agencies, is encouraging area residents to drop off unused or expired prescribed medications at one of four locations April 28. This also includes over-the-counter medications and other drugs. No questions asked. Only pills will be accepted.

Beaumont sites taking part in Medication Take-Back Day include:
Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn, 18101 Oakwood Blvd., Fitzgerald Pavilion, Dearborn, 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. Participating organizations are the Dearborn Police Department and Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network.

Beaumont Hospital, Wayne, 33155 Annapolis St., West lobby, Wayne, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participating organizations are the Wayne Police Department,  Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research and Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network.

“Most people do not know how to dispose of their medications, so they hold onto them. And that creates more problems,” said Dr. Roy Soto, a Beaumont anesthesiologist and member of Gov. Rick Snyder’s Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission. “Events like the upcoming statewide Medication Take-Back Day on April 28 are so important in disposing of unused medications while protecting our communities, children and environment.”

Opioids relieve pain by affecting how the brain and central nervous system process painful stimuli and are often prescribed during episodes of acute pain, such as after surgery, trauma  or dental work. However, a recent study found approximately 70 percent of the opioids prescribed for surgery go unused, making them vulnerable to diversion and misuse.

“We need to prevent opioid abuse before it starts,” Soto said. “Most 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. Increasing safe and convenient opportunities for community members to dispose of unused and leftover medications is essential.”