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Drug Take Back Day plays critical role in guarding communities

While medicine cabinets might not always be at the top of a spring cleaning to-do list, it’s critical to properly dispose of unwanted or unused medications whenever possible, as this can help protect friends, family members and the environment from the harmful impacts of misuse or improper disposal of these substances.

And today offers a great opportunity to safely and properly dispose of these medications, as the 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at law enforcement stations around the county and state.

A biannual event that typically occurs each April and October, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day allows the public to properly dispose of any solid-form prescription drugs that are no longer used. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency partners with law enforcement agencies across the nation to provide drop off sites for pills, capsules and tablets.

“There are going to be multiple locations throughout the U.P. where you and your family members can bring those prescription medications, dispose of them in a safe manner, and we want you guys to all be a part of the solution,” Joseph Dixon, DEA supervisory special agent said during a talk at the Michigan State Police Negaunee Post Wednesday. “We say that because we know that prescription medications, a lot of times, can lead to other catastrophic doors that we don’t want to have open, meaning that if we have family or friends who take part in using those in a manner which is not safe, it could lead to their life being lost.”

The DEA cites the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which reports that 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers that same year. Around 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, while 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives.

The same survey found that in a majority of these cases, the misused prescription drugs were obtained from home medicine cabinets of a friend or family member, which is why the DEA sees Take Back Day as a critical initiative, Dixon said.

“We take this very seriously,” Dixon said. “The DEA and our counterparts look to do this continuously for the years to come, and we thank all of you in the U.P. for being a part of this and for being a part of the solution.”

Marquette County law enforcement agencies participating as drop-off sites on Saturday include the Marquette Police Department, the Chocolay Township Police Department, the Negaunee City Police Department, the Michigan State Police Negaunee Post, the Forsyth Township Police Department and the Ishpeming City Police Department.

The drugs can also be dropped off at all seven state police posts across the U.P.

We urge our readers to take part in this critical event today, as properly disposing of prescription drugs is a simple, yet critical way to protect the lives and well-being of those around us, as well as the community and environment as a whole.

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