Important Information Regarding Prescription Drug Take Back During COVID-19
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, MI - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has postponed the 2020 Spring Take Back Day originally scheduled for Saturday, April 25th. It will be rescheduled for a different day once the current health crisis recedes and emergency guidelines are lifted. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day serves as a way for citizens to safely and properly dispose of any unwanted, unused, or expired medication they may have at home, no questions asked.
HOMTV had the opportunity to speak with Meridian Township Police Lieutenant Rick Grillo about the importance of properly disposing of medications, as well as ways for Meridian Township residents to do so once the shelter in place order has been lifted.
With everything going on right now, Lieutenant Grillo wanted to stress the importance of staying home, “At this time, we’re going to discourage everybody from coming to the police station. If you’re going to your own pharmacy to pick up prescriptions, that could be an option for you to drop off your medication there, but once the lockdown is lifted, you can bring all of your stuff here and we will dispose of it properly for you.”
If you or someone you know has unwanted prescription medications at home, Lieutenant Grillo provides this advice for properly securing medications, “The best way to keep your expired medication safe until they can be disposed of properly is to treat it as you would cash or jewelry. How do you keep those items safe in your house? Store your medication in a similar fashion; be it a safe, locked box, or locked closet. Drop it off at a drug take back box as soon as you are able to.”
The Meridian Township Police Department has a drug take back box at the Public Safety Building. Under normal circumstances, residents can drop their unwanted medication off at any time, but this isn’t the only place available with take back options, “There are a lot of different boxes. If you go to takebackmeds.org, it’s a website for Ingham County, you can search within so many miles of your house or the city you reside in,” says Lieutenant Grillo. “You’d be surprised how many there are.”
Properly disposing of medications plays an important role in ensuring they don’t fall into the wrong hands. This, along with environmental reasons, is why citizens are encouraged to participate in drug take back programs, “Environmentally, when you flush your medications down the toilet, which is one method that a lot of people use to dispose of their medication, it ends up in our waterways. Our water treatment plants aren’t equipped to deal with the medication that gets flushed. A lot of times it ends up in our waterways, and that isn’t good for the environment at all.”
In a previous article, we talked about how domestic and sexual violence incidents are increasing during the pandemic, but what about the impact COVID-19 has on the opioid epidemic in America? Lieutenant Grillo shares his thoughts, “It’s just my opinion, but I think that it’s kind of inevitable that it will. When unemployment numbers rise, you can see the use of illegal drugs go up as well, and prescription drugs are readily available. I can definitely see where this may lead to furthering the already drastic level of drug use that we have in this country.”
To find out more about locations that will accept your prescription medications, visit the website listed below, and remember to only do so after the shelter in place order has been lifted.
The full interview with Lieutenant Grillo can be found on HOMTV's YouTube.