Drug Take Back Day encourages community to dispose of unwanted medications

Spectrum Health offers drop-off sites and expert resources

(Grand Rapids, Mich. - Oct. 15, 2020) Spectrum Health Healthier Communities, Priority Health and Families Against Narcotics Grand Rapids Chapter have teamed up once again to collect unused and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Spectrum Health Healthier Communities (Widdicomb Building), 665 Seward Ave. NW, and Spectrum Health Medical Group South Pavilion, 80 68th Street SE, both in Grand Rapids.

Community members are invited to stop by to dispose of expired prescriptions and other unwanted or unneeded medications. This free and anonymous public service is part of the 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“In addition to removing unwanted medications from the community, Prescription Drug Take Back Day also provides an opportunity to learn more about addiction and how to prevent it in the first place,” said Ken Fawcett, MD, vice president, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities. “Also, it is important to be knowledgeable about the resources that are available to individuals and families that are impacted by the opioid crisis. We will have materials and experts on hand at our Seward Ave. and South Pavilion locations, to talk to families. This day is an important part of our community’s efforts to curtail the opioid crisis.”

The Grand Rapids Police 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.

Additional collection sites are listed on the DEA website.

During the last National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in October 2019, more than 6,000 sites across the country collected nearly 900,000 pounds of medications and medical supplies for disposal. At the Spectrum Health Seward Ave. location, 145 pounds were collected.

About Priority Health:

With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering a broad portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than a million members each year, and offering a network that includes 97 percent of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. Priority Health is the smart choice for people seeking affordable, quality health coverage. 

About Spectrum Health:

Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.