Spring cleaning your medicine cabinet? Dispose of medicine properly this weekend on National Drug Take Back Day

NOW: Spring cleaning your medicine cabinet? Dispose of medicine properly this weekend on National Drug Take Back Day

You may have started doing some spring cleaning, and while you sort through your things at home, you may want to clear out your medicine cabinet, too. This weekend, you can dispose of medicine properly as places across the u-s are participating in national drug take back day.

Prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths are on the rise, but one way to help keep loved ones safe is by disposing of expired medications.

In Michigan, drug overdose deaths increased by 28% from 2020 to 2021. And in Indiana, there was a 41% increase in overdose deaths in 2020 when compared to 2019.

The Drug Enforcement Agency hosts National Drug Take Back Day every year, this year the event will take place on Saturday, April 30. It is day for people to properly dispose of expired or unused medications to keep them out of the hands of loved ones.

Indiana State Police is partnering as a drop-off location for the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. ISP Sgt. Ted Bohner warned people of the dangers of leftover medications.

“A lot of the cases misuse and abuse with especially narcotic drugs comes from our own medicine cabinets,” said Bohner.

Teens contribute to much of the rise in usage. According to IU Health, in the state of Indiana, 10,000 of the 40,000 drug exposures were among pediatric patients under the age of 19. By keeping extra pills in the house, they are easily accessible to teens and adults that may abuse them.

Kids are also at risk and could accidentally pick one up, and adults and elderly family members may forget or accidentally take the drugs.

Alex Ponce, a pharmacy resident in the emergency department at IU Health warned the dangers of taking expired drugs yourself.

“For example, they could be prescribed something their for blood pressure and then they are prescribed the same medication that works the same exact way but it has a different name,” said Ponce. “So, if they take both of those, you could have a compounded effect and get low blood pressure from that.”

Clearing out your medicine cabinet can help save household members from accidentally taking or abusing prescription medication.

The drug enforcement agency wants to make it clear not to bring any needles, including insulin and Epipens. Illegal drugs are also unacceptable.

However, you can bring in expired prescription medications and over-the-counter medications in both liquid or pill form

The drop-off is “no questions asked,” which means that the medications do not need to be prescribed to you. The drop-off is a great time to dispose of medications of loved ones that have passed which you may have hung onto because you don’t know what to do with them.

Medication have a different disposal process than most items, and Sgt. Bohner said this event sends medications to its proper destination.

“Throwing them in the trash or flushing them isn’t an environmentally friendly way to get rid of them,” said Bohner. “This is. What happens is, you bring them into one of the collection sites, we take them, give them to the DEA, and they dispose of them properly.”

You can find your local drop-off locations here. Miss the event? Don't worry! Year-round locations are available.

If you or a loved one is experiencing drug addiction please call 1 (800) 662-HELP (4357). For drug exposures, call poison control at 1- (800) 222-1222..

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