County Expands Daily Drop-off Program for Unused and Expired Medication

Andrew Trzaska | November 12, 2011

Starting this month, county residents can take unused or unwanted controlled medications to numerous police and sheriff department buildings.

This new initiative is led by the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal program (MAMDP).

The MAMDP currently holds events 4 times a year to collect unused over-the-counter and prescribed medications. In addition, locations to drop off non-controlled substances already exist.

The new drop-off boxes situated in law enforcement buildings are built to handle controlled substances.  The drop-off box is secured and can only be accessed by law enforcement officials.  As part of the partnership, drop-offs can occur during regular business hours 5 days a week instead of waiting for the quarterly events.

The Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program (MAMDP) began work on securing the locked drop-off boxes and police cooperation this summer.  Using police stations as drop-off locations provided the safety and legal chain of custody required for handling controlled substances; police are tasked with taking any medication collected to an incinerating station in Kent County for final disposal.

The MAMDP cites an improvement of the safety and health of Muskegon County residents as a main goal for its efforts. Throwing away medications can contaminate soil either in or out of landfills as well.

According to the MAMDP, holding onto unused and even expired medication when it is no longer needed creates opportunities for theft; even if the medication itself is small in quantity, awareness that it is available can open the door to opportunities to steal, resell, use or commit other crimes.

Leslee Rohs, Sustainability Coordinator for Muskegon County, noted in a communication with 103.7 The Beat that getting rid of medications also benefit’s the county’s water.

Water systems, including Muskegon County’s state-of-the-art wastewater system, generally can filter out other impurities but cannot usually remove medications that have been flushed.

Controlled medications can be dropped off at the following locations during business hours:

Montague Police Department

8778 Ferry St, Montague MI 49437 —231.893.0810

Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office Records

25 W Walton Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440 —231.724.6351

Muskegon County Sheriff Road Patrol Offices

1611 E Oak Av, Muskegon, MI 49442 —231.724.6259

Muskegon Police Department

980 Jefferson St, Muskegon, MI 49440 —231.724.6750

Norton Shores Police Department

4814 Henry St, Norton Shores, MI 49441 —231.733.2691

Roosevelt Park Police Department

900 Oak Ridge Rd, Muskegon, MI 49441 —231.755.3721

More law enforcement participant locations are expected to join the program soon, including Fruitport Police Department, Muskegon Heights Police Department, Muskegon Township Police Department, North Muskegon Police Department and Whitehall Police Department.

For more information: www.mamdp.com

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst