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National Drug Take Back Day is October 23

Posted at 10:57 AM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 10:57:14-04

In 2010, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency created National Prescription Drug Take Back Day as a way to encourage people to safely and properly dispose of unwanted medications. Since then, over seven tons of medications and medical supplies have been collected and disposed of by law enforcement agencies on Drug Take Back Days.

The next one takes place on Saturday, October 23 where more than 6,000 organizations across the country are expected to participate. One of them is Spectrum Health, along with several community partners. Dr. Colleen Lane, Addition Medicine Director at Spectrum Health, gives more details on how people can participate.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 20 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. More than 50 percent of opioids are not used by the intended recipient. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

The Drug Take Back Day is also an effort to ensure meds aren't being taken away from folks who need them, adequate rescue meds are available, and making sure recovery services are available to those who need them.

Opioids are also bad for the environment if medications are flushed or put in the trash. Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity for those drugs to be disposed of properly by professionals.

Community members are invited to stop by to dispose of expired prescriptions and other unwanted or unneeded medications. At these locations, there will also be experts and educational materials on hand to answer any questions about the Take Back event.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a free and anonymous public service for disposal of expired or unwanted medications, will be accepting drop-offs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 23 at the following locations:

Spectrum Health Healthier Communities- Widdicomb Building
665 Seward Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Spectrum Health Medical Group
South Pavilion
80 68th Street, Grand Rapids

Priority Health Corporate Office
3111 Leonard Street NE, Grand Rapids

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital
605 Oak Street, Big Rapids

Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital
300 N. Patterson Rd
Reed City

Zeeland Community Hospital
8333 Felch St., Zeeland

Spectrum Health United Hospital
1325 W. Washington, Greenville

Gerber Memorial Hospital
1401 Main Street, Freemont

Spectrum Health Lakeland
3900 Hollywood Road (near entrance B), St. Joseph

Find a location near you by visiting