Drug Take Back Day encourages community to dispose of unwanted medications

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, October 12, 2021

ST. JOSEPH — Spectrum Health Lakeland, in partnership with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, is providing community members with the opportunity to dispose of unused and unwanted prescription drugs during a Drug Take Back Day event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 near entrance B at the Center for Outpatient Services, located at 3900 Hollywood Road in St. Joseph.

Community members are invited to drive through and dispose of expired prescriptions and other unwanted or unneeded medications. Medications are accepted in original container or dumped in a zip-lock bag. This free and anonymous public service is part of the 19th annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration.

“By providing a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, we are ultimately making our community safer,” said Beverly Robbins, senior improvement specialist at Spectrum Health Lakeland. “This event also provides an important opportunity to educate the general public about the potential for abuse of medications and how they can help prevent prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands.”

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department will oversee the collection site and ensure the drugs are disposed of in an appropriate manner. The DEA advises the public not to flush medications down the toilet or throw them in the trash because doing so poses potential safety and health hazards.

During the last National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in April 2021, more than five thousand sites across the country collected 420 tons of medications and medical supplies for disposal. Additional collection sites are listed on the DEA website.