The health care system and advancements in drug therapy have contributed to Americans living longer than ever before. As the population ages, the volume of medications prescribed increases dramatically. Patients over the age of 75 average 12 new prescriptions per year. It is estimated that four of every five patients leave the doctor's office with a prescription.
Recent studies have detected low concentrations of prescription drugs and over the counter medications in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas throughout the country, including Detroit. Contributing to the problem is the disposal dilemma faced by residents who want to safely dispose of unwanted medications without flushing them down the drain.
Medications may become unwanted for a variety of reasons:
- change in medication
- change in dosage
- not used by patient
- medication is outdated
- patient has improved
- patient has died
Historically, unwanted medications were either flushed down the toilet or thrown out in the garbage. Both of these options pose a risk:
1. Children or pets can accidentally ingest medications discarded in the garbage
2. Medications flushed down the toilet may not be completely removed by the sewage treatment process and end up in ground or surface waters.
The Macomb County Health Department is accepting unwanted and outdated medications from Macomb County residents. Medications can be brought in to the Health Department offices in Mt. Clemens or Warren, or brought to the Household Hazardous Waste collection events for proper disposal.
For monthly collection dates, times and locations click here or medications can be brought in to the Central Health Center in Mt. Clemens, the Southwest Health Center in Warren, or the Southeast Health Center in St. Clair Shores anytime during normal business hours.
The Health Department is now partnering with local pharmacies to expand our drug disposal program. For a list of participating pharmacies please click on the following link: medication disposal
If you are concerned about personal information, please remove the name from the medication container before bringing them to us.
Please Note: Controlled substances and syringes will not be accepted. Examples of controlled substances include: narcotic painkillers, Morphine, Ritalin, Tylenol III, etc. For information on locations of disposal sites for controlled substances click here.
National DEA Prescription Drug Take Back is Saturday April 29, 2017 – 10 AM to 2 PM
Macomb County Sheriff’s Department (lobby), 43565 Elizabeth Road, Mt. Clemens
Clinton Township Police Department (lobby), 37985 Groesbeck Highway (North of 16 Mile Rd.)
For additional locations go to National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search
For information on disposal of syringes please follow this link to: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/whm-stsw-mwrp-The-Point-is-Needles-Hurt_257177_7.pdf
If you have any questions, call us at 586-469-5236, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or E-mail us now.