Michigan State Police will participate in prescription drug drop-off day
The Michigan State Police are teaming up with the Drug Enforcement Administration this Saturday for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
There will be 29 locations across the state where anyone can drop off their expired or unwanted pills. Drop-offs are free and anonymous.
"Take-Back" is part of a national effort to reduce prescription drug abuse. Deaths and overdoses from prescription pills have been on the rise in recent years, and the epidemic is also connected with increased heroin use.
Michigan saw a 385 percent increase in drug deaths between 1999 and 2013 and a 14 percent increase in 2014.
On "Take-Back Day" in 2014, state officials took in more than 500 pounds of pills.
"What we really want is people to understand the seriousness of it," said Lt. Kyle Bowman of the MSP in Jackson. "Keep [your pills] secure, because they are being used a lot of times for legitimate purposes, but keep them secure from other people, both adults and children."
Bowman said people are often too casual with their prescriptions. Too many people share drugs or leave them out for others to find.
Many with legal prescriptions also don't understand how dangerous or addictive their medicine is, according to Judge Linda Davis, President of Families Against Narcotics.
"Most people take drugs because they trust their doctor; they trust they know what's best for them, and they don't ask enough questions," she said.
While Saturday's event is meant to raise awareness, Bowman said participating stations actually take deliveries year-round.
A full list of collection sites can be found at this link. Police ask people not to bring liquids, inhalers, patches, or syringes.