On Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Holly Police Department and Fenton Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

 Scott Fischer, acting Holly police chief, said to bring your pills for disposal to the Holly Police Department at 315 S. Broad St., in Holly. Drop-off sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.

 The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Fenton’s police station is at 311 S. LeRoy St.

 Linden’s police department participated in last year’s event, however, it is not participating this year, said Linden Police Chief Scott Sutter.

 Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11.8 million pounds —approximately 5,900 tons — of pills.

 This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

 The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.

 In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

 For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 26 Take Back Day event, go to DEATakeBack.com, call the Holly Police Department at (248) 634-8221 or Fenton Police Department at (810) 629-5311.

 Michigan State Police’s 30 posts also will participate in the one-day “Take-Back” effort, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, by serving as drop-off points. All collected pills will be destroyed, with no questions asked. Liquids, inhalers, patches and syringes cannot be accepted.

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