- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State Police posts across the state are serving as collection points for expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs as part of an effort to curb prescription drug abuse, officials said.

Medications may be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., excluding holidays. No appointment is needed, and police said the drop-offs are a safe and anonymous way to dispose of such drugs. Liquids, inhalers, patches or syringes are not accepted.

“It is important for residents to have a safe and confidential way to dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs so they don’t end up in the hands of children or addicts,” state police director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said in a statement.

Support from the Livingston County Community Alliance and its “Red Barrel” program allowed all 29 posts to become drop-off sites, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan Pharmacists Association’s annual household medication disposal event takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the state Capitol. Details are posted on the pharmacists association’s website.

The number of hospitalizations involving opioids increased 120 percent between 2000 and 2011 in Michigan to more than 20,000, the association said. Proper disposal can help keep such substances out of the wrong hands, the group said, and cut down on problems.

“Through prevention efforts, education and assistance as well as collaboration with other health care providers and stakeholders, pharmacists are committed to playing a key role in the solution to Michigan’s substance abuse epidemic,” said Larry Wagenknecht, a pharmacist and chief executive officer of the MPA.

Also this week, Saturday is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, where many agencies and organizations will accept unwanted drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. State police posts will be participating in that effort as well.







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