Since 2009, The Legacy Center, the Midland Police Department and the Midland County Sheriff’s Office have been working together to collect unused, expired medications – both prescription and over the counter. Through this effort, formally known as Dump Your Drugs, we’ve collected more than 20,000 pounds of medication in nine years.
The goal of Dump Your Drugs is to reduce the supply of drugs that are unknowingly made available to persons with an addiction to opiates or other drugs. The clutter of medications in the home builds up in the kitchen cupboard, bathroom medicine cabinet, the night stand, or on top of the dresser. Those are among the first places a person looks when they are seeking a “high.” That person could be a relative, a friend of one of your kids, or a stranger.
Our community is fortunate in that there are several, convenient ways to dispose of unused or expired medication. In the Midland area, you can dispose of your drugs at the Law Enforcement Center (24 hours per day/7 days per week), the Coleman Family Center (Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), and the Michigan State Police Post in Freeland (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). In addition to these permanent locations, mobile Dump Your Drugs events are hosted at a variety of locations in the community between April and October, including the Midland Farmers Market. Some pharmacies also have programs that allow you to put unused medications in a postage-paid envelope and mail them in. One initiative involves an envelope that includes a substance that renders the prescription unusable. Check with your local pharmacy to see if it participates in one of these efforts.
Over the past several years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of opioid overdoses in our community – with far too many resulting in death. We’d be fooling ourselves to think that the drug take back effort alone will result in dramatic changes to this situation. However, it is one important activity in a much larger strategy to drive systemic change in our community. We encourage you to dispose of your unused, expired medications at the permanent locations mentioned above, or at one of our Dump Your Drugs mobile events.