October 29 is drug take back day, an initiative pushed by the Drug Enforcement Administration twice a year.
They encourage everyone to clean out their medicine cabinets of unused or expired drugs and turn them in to one of the many take back centers. There are a few in the northeast Michigan area including the Michigan State Police Alpena Post, the Alcona County Sheriff’s Office, the Oscoda Township Police Department, and the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Office.
Unused drugs can often be the cause of addiction if found by family members when they’re not prescribed. According to the DEA, getting addicted to these drugs, opioids especially, can lead to other addictions including heroin. “25 percent of people who are heroin users have started with a prescription pills,” said Brian McNeal, public information officer for the DEA. “So, the number of addiction issues that we can thwart just by clearing out our medicine cabinets, that’s something that all of us could help with.”
On average, the DEA receives 25,000-30,000 pounds of drugs for the state of Michigan.