Over 19,000 pounds of prescription pills have been collected since 2017 in Michigan.

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National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, October 23. According to the Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN), drug take back events in Michigan have collected over 19,000 pounds of pills, over 235, of which were opioid pills.

A recent study found most of the teens reporting use of prescription medications were obtained from friends or family members, with 20-25% reporting taking them without permission. Leftover opioids also pose a poison risk to young children. Every 10 minutes a child visits the emergency room for medication poisoning.

Proper disposal also protects the environment as well as the health of others. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy say when drugs are no longer needed, they should be taken to a collection for incineration to destroy the chemicals within them and prevent them from entering the water resources we use for drinking water.

Over the last decade, prescription drug abuse and accidental death from drug abuse have skyrocketed across the country. Over the last several decades, studies have shown that pharmaceuticals persist at low levels in our surface water and groundwater.

EGLE says that although there are no known health risks to people, there are known impacts to amphibians, fish, wildlife, and bacteria. Without improvements in disposal and wastewater treatment technologies, the level of pharmaceuticals in our water is expected to increase as more and more people continue to take more and more medications.

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