By Ken DeLaat
Well, 198 to be more precise but medications no longer needed or no longer wanted or simply far past their expiration date made it into the coffers of the Sheriff’s Department and the Hometown Pharmacy site manned by the Newaygo Police department.
Add that to the 3,285 pounds of medications collected since the program began four years ago and you get over 1 ½ tons of medicine not going into the water system, the landfills or most importantly not into the hands of those who were not prescribed the meds.
Prescription drug use is a significant issue among youth and has contributed to the opioid epidemic by allowing access to potentially harmful and/or addictive drugs via the family medicine cabinet or sometimes through a visit to grandparents house.
The program began as a way to reduce the availability of prescription drugs by providing a way for folks in the community to rid themselves of medications some that have been laying around the house for years. Starting with a drop off box at the Sheriff’s Department, there are now drop off sites in each of the county law enforcement agencies as well as at the Commission on Aging,Hometown Pharmacy, and TrueNorth Community Services.
“The Headway Coalition is thrilled with the success of the Take Back Day. The success of the event wouldn’t have been possible without the many community partnerships the coalition members have worked so hard to establish. These partnerships are instrumental in reducing the access Newaygo County kids have to medicines, alcohol, and nicotine products.”
The Headway Coalition , a collective of community members with a common goal of preventing substance abuse through local efforts spearheaded this effort.
The work of Headway as well as other substance abuse services in Newaygo County is funded through the Mid State Health Network a multi county agency based in Lansing and through The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency, a federal government organization.
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