Community

Drug Take Back Day Encourages Community to Dispose of Unwanted Medications

Spectrum Health offers drop-off sites and expert resources

April 20, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 20, 2021 Spectrum Health Healthier CommunitiesPriority Health and 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 24, at Spectrum Health Healthier Communities (Widdicomb Building), 665 Seward Ave. NW, and Spectrum Health Medical Group South Pavilion, 80 68th Street SE, both 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 20th annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“Spectrum Health is committed to fighting the opioid crisis thus our efforts to plan additional take back sites is vital. This effort removes unneeded medications making our communities safer,” said Natalia Szczygiel, MHSA, director of operations at Spectrum Health. “We encourage community members to help in this effort by dropping off medications with COVID-19 precautions in place.”

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.

Locations sponsored or co-sponsored by Spectrum Health are listed below. Unless otherwise indicated, the drop-off site will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24:

  • Spectrum Health Healthier Communities, Widdicomb Building, 665 Seward Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Spectrum Health Medical Group South Pavilion, 80 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids
  • Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital, 605 Oak Street, Big Rapids
  • Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital, 300 N. Patterson Rd, Reed City
  • Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital, 418 Washington Ave, Lakeview
  • Zeeland Community Hospital, 8333 Felch St., Zeeland

Additional collection sites are listed on the DEA website.

During the last National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in October 2020, more than 4,500 sites across the country collected nearly one million pounds of medications and medical supplies for disposal. At the Spectrum Health Seward Ave. location, 192 pounds were collected and 36 doses of Narcan were provided

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.

Contact:
Rick Jensen
Media Relations
Office: 616.391.5291
Mobile: 616.706.2608
Email: richard.jensen@spectrumhealth.org