MONROE - The first collection to gather up old, unneeded pharmaceuticals being stored by area residents will be May 30 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Monroe County Health Department, 2353 South Custer Rd.
Medications, which pose problems for substance abuse and accidental poisonings. can be dropped off anonymously at the health department.
The collection for Medication Drop-Off Day is a collaboration of the health department, Michigan State Police, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition, and Monroe County Prosecutor.
Jamie Dean, Monroe County Solid Waste coordinator, said prescriptions should not be flushed or disposed into drainage systems because of the harsh effects on the environment.
"We don't recommend flushing medications because the antibiotics, hormones, and other pharmaceuticals are affecting marine life," she said.
Accepted items for the drop off are prescription medications, including pain killers, antibiotics, birth control, and insulin (no sharps or syringes), over-the-counter pills such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and cold medicine, and personal care products such as medicated ointments, lotions, and shampoos.
April Corie, co-chairman of the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition, said the storage in the community of prescription drugs is a huge concern, and the roundup of pharmaceuticals is a safety issue.
"This needs to be done in response to the overwhelming abuse of prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Part of the coalition's strategy is to decrease access to old medications," she said.
More information about the collection can be obtained by contacting Ms. Corie of the Substance Abuse Council at 734-242-1331 or going to epa.gov/ppcp.