The fight against Michigan’s opioid epidemic is a multifaceted effort that includes legislators, law enforcement personnel, healthcare experts, and individuals and families in every community throughout the state. One important area in which every person can help prevent opioid abuse and addiction is in the secure storage and safe disposal of prescription medications.
A Serious Problem
The intentional misuse of opioid-based prescription medications has played a significant role in rising rates of opioid abuse in Macomb County and across Michigan. Whether done in an illicit attempt to self-medicate or for solely recreational purposes, using prescription painkillers in any way that contradicts the directions of the prescribing physician is a dangerous behavior that can have catastrophic impacts.
In Macomb County and throughout the state, healthcare professionals use the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) as a means of ensuring that they are not prescribing opioid-based painkillers or other medications to individuals who are also receiving these drugs from another provider. This system prevents individuals from accessing prescription opioids for unapproved purposes. Yet, it also forces these individuals to engage in other illicit means of acquiring prescription medications, such as borrowing or stealing them.
If you or someone in your family has been prescribed an opioid-based medication, it is imperative that you securely store this medication while it is in your possession, and then properly dispose of any remaining medication once it is no longer needed. Securing the medication ensures that no one borrows or steals it, while safe disposal techniques prevent both theft and the accidental ingestion of the substances by children or animals.
Safe Drop-Off Locations in Macomb County
In Macomb County, the best way to safely dispose of prescription medications is to take them to an approved drop-off location.
The Macomb County Health Department has partnered with several pharmacies in the area to create a network of safe prescription medication drop-off locations:
- Armada Pharmacy: 23032 E. Main Street, Armada
- Compounding Solutions Pharmacy: 8170 23 Mile Road, Shelby Township
- Doctor’s Pharmacy: 18810 Ten Mile Road, Roseville
- Frank’s Pharmacy: 39023 Harper, Clinton Township
- Memphis Drugs: 80850 Main Street, Memphis
- Orchard View Pharmacy: 12150 30 Mile Road, Washington
- Sav-On Pharmacy: 43500 Van Dyke, Sterling Heights
- Sav-On Phil’s Pharmacy: 35 N. Walnut, Mt. Clemons
- Sunshine Pharmacy: 43009 Hayes, Sterling Heights
- Value Center Pharmacy: 37155 Harper, Clinton Township
- Macomb County Health Department: 43525 Elizabeth Road, Mt. Clemons or 27690 Van Dyke, Warren
Safe Disposal of Prescription Medications at Home
If you cannot get to one of these locations, it is important that you do NOT merely throw any unwanted prescription medications into the trash or flush them down the toilet.
To safely dispose of prescription medications at home, first mix the medications in with used coffee grounds, kitty litter, or another absorbent, non-edible, and non-enticing substance. Place this mixture into a sealable plastic bag or another storage device, such as a jar with a lid. Then place the bag, jar, or another container into the trash.
Prior to disposing of the bottle or box that the medications were originally provided in, be sure to remove any labels or cross out your name, address, other identifying information, and the name of the medication. This will help protect your privacy and limit your risk for identity theft.