In a county with one of the highest number of opioid-related deaths—and which has led the state in opioid abuse hospitalizations—leaders are working to tackle an epidemic that has claimed one too many lives in our area, and across the country.
The Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program (MAMDP) will host a medication and needle take-back event on Saturday, April 27 at the Norton Shores Fire Department, located at 1100 E. Pontaluna Rd. The event will run from 9am to 1pm.
Coinciding with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Day, the event aims to shed light on opioid awareness and addiction—as well as encourage the community to help tackle the growing problem by getting rid of unused opioids, other medications and needles safely and properly.
“I’ve taken a very personal interest in the problems of drug abuse and looking at every possible way to mitigate the impact of this terrible epidemic,” County Commissioner Bob Scolnik said in a press release. “One of the easiest ways is to remove unneeded and unused medications from our homes, before they end up being abused. Disposing of them through the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program not only keeps them safely away from possible abuse, but it also keeps them out of our water supply and environment. The Muskegon Medication Disposal Program is one of the leading take back programs in Michigan, and I urge everyone to take full advantage of this free service.”
Community residents are urged to drop off their unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications on Saturday, including ointments, sprays, inhalers, creams, pet medications, and needles.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to dispose of expired or unused medications and used sharps,” Sheriff Michael Poulin, a founding member of the MAMDP initiative, said in the press release. “It is important to dispose of these medications correctly to avoid unauthorized use by our youth, or other individuals that could misuse these products.”
This biannual and free event first began in 2010 and has since collected more than 35,000 pounds of medications. Biohazardous materials, household hazardous waste, and personal care items are not accepted at this event. For more information, visit www.mamdp.org or call Rachel McCoy at 231-672-3201.