On Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Kentwood Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Kentwood Police Department at 4742 Walma Ave SE, Kentwood. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharp objects, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
For those in the Wyoming area, Metro Health Hospital also will be hosting a Take Back program Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at its lobby, 590 Byron Center Ave. SW. The hospital will be accepting mercury thermometers as well. For those who bring in a thermometer, you will receive a digital one while supplies last. For more information on the Metro Health Take Back, visit metrohealt.net.
Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 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 vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish 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.
For more information on the about the disposal of prescription and over-the-counter drugs or about the Kentwood Take Back Day event, contact Vicki Highland at 616-656-6571.
Recyclekent.org offers a number of resources on recycling for a variety materials such as medical equipment and supplies such as needles.
Needles: The recyclekent.org website recently added a program called Safe Sharps, where residents can sign up at the Kent County Health Department. For more information, visit recyclekent.org/material/sharps/. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) also has a list places to take needles. Click here for the list.
Medical equipment: Recyclekent.org has a list of places that either recycle or dispose of the equipment or you can donate medical equipment to them. For a complete list, click here. One place that does take medical equipment is Spring Lake’s International Aid. For more about that organization, visit internationalaid.org.
Eye glasses: The Grand Rapids Lions Club has several locations where you can drop off old eyeglasses. For a complete list, click here.