Drug take-back initiative set for April 22

April 16, 2015

MSPBy Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — Have you ever wondered where to safely discard unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs? You can wonder no more now that the Hart post of the Michigan State Police and the Oceana County Council on Aging have teamed up to provide a Drug Take-Back Initiative next Wednesday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at OCCOA, at 621 E Main St.

Fittingly on Earth Day, the MSP and OCCOA will collect the unwanted drugs, so they do not end up in landfills or the groundwater. If you throw them in the trash, they end up in the landfills, and if you flush them down the toilet, the drugs enter the groundwater, said MSP Community Service Trooper Dan Thomas.

“There has always been the question: how do we get rid of them?” Thomas said of the unwanted drugs. So, OCCOAMSP and OCCOA decided to provide an answer. In addition to environmental reasons, it is always a good idea to safely discard unwanted drugs, so they do not end up in the “wrong hands,” Thomas said.

If you can’t make it April 22, there will soon be another option for safely discarding drugs. The post is also in the process of installing a permanent box inside the lobby, where people can drop off their unwanted drugs during the post’s business hours, which are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Home Depot has donated five-gallon buckets with lids to be used during the drug take-back, Thomas said. The unwanted drugs will ultimately be taken to an incinerator for destruction. “They will be taken to two facilities in separate counties authorized to destroy the medications,” he said.

“This is a great way to build a relationship with the Michigan State Police,” said OCCOA Program Developer and Volunteer Coordinator Stephanie Moore. MSP is working with the OCCOA on other issues that affect the growing senior population in Oceana County, such as personal safety and fraud protection, Moore said.

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