HOUGHTON - The Houghton County Sheriff's Office collected almost 45 pounds of prescription drugs April 28 during national Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and Brian McLean thinks publicity helped the increase of close to four times more than what was collected last year.
McLean, who is Houghton County sheriff, said last year about 12 pounds were collected at his office compared to the 44.5 pounds collected this year. He credits a great deal of publicity in local media for the increase.
"The public awareness really came out," he said.
The HCSO worked in conjunction with the Michigan State Police Calumet post in the collection of the unused prescription drugs, McLean said.
"We do it every year they do it," he said.
However, McLean said there is a prescription drug collection box available year round in the lobby of the sheriff's office next to the Houghton County building.
"Ours is 24/7, here," he said.
According to a written statement from the MSP headquarters in Lansing, the collection, which included involvement of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, almost 694 pounds of drugs were collected at MSP posts across the state during the Take Back Day.
At the Calumet post, 18 pounds of drugs were collected. Other Upper Peninsula posts and the amounts they collected include: Gladstone - 14 pounds; Iron Mountain - 20 pounds; Wakefield - 3 pounds.
McLean said the drugs collected were incinerated.