On Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Kentwood Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the Kentwood Police Department at 4742 Walma Ave SE. Liquids, needles, inhalers or medical equipment cannot be accepted, only pills and patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and health issue. Medications that are forgotten in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. 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. 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 by drug residues appearing in surface water, such as rivers and lakes.
Please take advantage of this free program that allows you to properly dispose of your unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications. For more information, contact Vicki Highland at 616-656-6571.
As mentioned, needles, or sharps will not be accepted at during the Take Back day. The Kent County Department of Public Works and the Kent County Health Department do offer a safe disposal of needles through a program called SafeSharps.
“Sharps” is the term for medical devices with sharp points or edges the can puncture or cut the skin. Kent County residents may request a free container from any KCHD facility. After completing a brief registration form, KCHD will issue a sterile approved container that users make take home. Once the container is full, it can be returned to any KCHD facility and exchanged for a new one.
Containers will be accepted at the Kent County Health Department, 700 Fuller Ave. NE; Sheldon Clinic, 121 Franklin SE; South Clinic, 4700 Kalamazoo Ave. SE.; and North County Clinic, 4388 14 Mile Road NE. Hours for all the sites are 8 – 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 – 4:45 p.m. Monday – Wednesday and Friday; 12:45 – 4:45 p.m. the first, third and fifth Thursdays of the month; 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:45 – 6:45 p.m the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. For more information on the SafeSharps program, visit recyclekent.org.