Drug Take-Back Day nets pounds of pills locally

NEGAUNEE – Many area residents took advantage of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day as the Michigan State Police Post in Negaunee participated as a drop-off site Saturday.

The Negaunee post saw a steady flow of people from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. bringing in expired and unwanted medications and vitamins, said Negaunee Michigan State Sgt. Joe O’Hagan. This was O’Hagan’s fourth Drug Take-Back Day.

“I don’t know how many people have been in today, but it’s been the best one since I’ve been doing it,” O’Hagan said. “There’s about 50 to 60 pounds (of pills) here, maybe more.”

The Drug Take-Back Day is designed to be a safe way for people to get rid of medications they have around their houses that are either expired or are no longer being used, O’Hagan said.

“A lot of people have prescription changes and then they have no place to get rid of their medications,” he said. “We take whatever medication someone might have as long as it’s in pill form – no questions asked – and then we dispose of them.”

All 29 of the state police posts across Michigan work in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration on Drug Take-Back Day.

According to O’Hagan, the DEA agents will go around to the dropoff sites, collecting all of the containers of pills and then taking them to an incinerator to dispose of them properly.

Participant Mary Jane Wilson brought in a few bottles of prescription medications from her house and her friend’s house to dispose of.

“Doctors change our medications all the time,” Wilson said. “I brought them in because I don’t want to just throw them out but I don’t feel comfortable keeping them in my house.”

This year the Marquette City Police Department, which accepts medications year round, also joined in on the statewide drive. They collected approrximately 30 pounds of pills.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is awhitefoot@miningjournal.net