National Prescription Drug Takeback Day on Saturday, April 22

Spring cleaning means more than just restoring the shine to floors and dusting for cobwebs. It’s also about safety, and it begins with cleaning out your medicine cabinet to remove unwanted or expired prescription medications so they don’t become a target for theft or accidentally end up in the wrong hands.

To help prevent more people from falling victim to the nation’s drug overdose epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors National Prescription Drug Takeback Day twice a year. This spring’s event is on Saturday, April 22, and you can conveniently dispose of unneeded or expired medications at the MSU Health Care Pharmacy, located at 4660 S. Hagadorn Road in East Lansing.

“There is a great deal of harm, risk and danger in keeping unwanted medications in the cabinet at home,” said MSU Health Care Pharmacy Director Sandra Campbell, Pharm D.

“Of course, the greatest risk is unintended use by someone who accidentally could ingest the medication, especially children. Prescription drugs, particularly opioids, are dangerous in themselves, and expired medications can become ineffective or toxic over time, similar to having old food in the refrigerator. In addition, there are risks to the environment if certain medications are not disposed of correctly.”

According to the DEA, drug overdose deaths are up 16 percent from a year ago and claim more than 290 lives every day. It’s clear that prevention starts at home since the DEA says the majority of opioid addictions in America start with prescription pills found in medicine cabinets at home.

“The Takeback days trigger additional awareness among the public of the need to remove old prescriptions from the home, which is extremely important,” Campbell explained. “But the truth is that we accept all non-controlled medications on any day at all times.”

Check with your local police department or hospital to see if they take controlled substances such as ADHD medication and opioids.