Oakland County launches website for safe disposal of prescriptions

In honor of National Prescription Take Back Day, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, and the Oakland County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership launched a new website, www.OakGov.com/PrescriptionDrugs that hosts an interactive map identifying disposal programs locations throughout the county.

“The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues today. Ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose,” Patterson said. “The Oakland County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership is working diligently to address this issue at a county-wide level and collaborate with those working on the front line of this epidemic every day.”

Disposal locations include Oakland County Sheriff’s Operation Medicine Cabinet, local police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) locations, as well as pharmacies throughout Oakland County. The map will be updated continuously as new programs are implemented.

“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to educating and participating in programming which? combats prescription drug abuse,” said Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard. “We launched Operation Medicine Cabinet in 2009 and as of today, offer 36 drop-off locations around the county where residents can safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription medications. This ensures these drugs are not getting into our waterways and drinking water, but also keeps prescription medications out of the hands of any one who may be battling addiction.”

The website also hosts educational materials about how to monitor, dispose, and secure prescription medications to prevent prescription drug abuse. Medical professionals can also use the site to find online trainings for continuing medical education credits and community resources for patients.

“Drug overdose and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase everywhere, including Oakland County, and prescription opioids are a driving factor in this increase,” said Kathy Forzley, health officer of the Oakland County Health Division. “Medical professionals can help prevent abuse and stop addiction by safely prescribing opioid medications and actively using the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS).”

On Saturday, April 29, the DEA will host its 13th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in seven years. This initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse and medications. For more information about the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, go to the DEA Diversion website?.

“America is experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose, and death due to the abuse of prescription drugs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon. “The most common way that prescription drug abusers obtain their pills, is from their own friends and family. Please do your part to reduce substance abuse by participating in DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and removing unwanted prescription drugs from the home.”

For up-to-date public health information, visit www.oakgov.com/health?, find Public Health Oakland on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC, or call the Health Division’s Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533.

About Oakland County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership

In March of 2015, the Oakland County Health Division formed the Oakland County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership to create a coordinated strategic action plan for reducing prescription drug abuse and overdoses in Oakland County. The partnership has a strong coalition of partners who have an active interest in preventing prescription overdose deaths. For more information on the Partnership, visit www.OakGov.com/PrescriptionDrugs?.