Drug Take Back Day encourages community to dispose of unwanted medications

(Grand Rapids, Mich. – April 27, 2022) Priority Health, Spectrum Health, Pine Rest, the Kent County Opioid Task Force and the 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, April 30, at Priority Health Main Campus, 3111 Leonard St NE, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities (Widdicomb Building), 665 Seward Ave. NW, and Spectrum Health Medical Group South Pavilion (North Side of Building), 80 68th Street SE, 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 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 Dr. James Forshee, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Priority Health. “It is also 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 Priority Health, 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 2021, more than 4,900 sites across the country collected nearly 744,082 lbs. (372 Tons) of medications and medical supplies for disposal. At the Priority Health and Spectrum Health collection sites, 187 pounds were collected.

About Priority Health:

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