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Metro Health Hospital Participates in National Drug Take Back Day

Return Unused Medications, Mercury Thermometers for Free, Safe Disposal

Metro Health Hospital can help you get rid of unused medications safely on Saturday, Sept. 27 – no questions asked.

The region’s leading community hospital will once again participate in National Drug Take Back Day, which is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., area residents will be able to return unused prescriptions to the hospital lobby. A pharmacist will be available throughout the event to answer questions about medications.

Again this fall, Metro Health will also accept and dispose of mercury thermometers. Those who drop off a mercury thermometer will receive a new digital thermometer in return from the City of Wyoming.

The Wyoming Police Department will be on hand to anonymously accept all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, including controlled substances, with no questions asked.

Growing concern over pharmaceutical pollution in waterways and prescription drug abuse has led cities across the nation to develop drug take back programs. The West Michigan Take Back Meds program is a joint effort between local pharmacies, law enforcement, wastewater treatment facilities and government agencies to provide residents with safe, convenient access to proper medicine disposal.Medications collected in West Michigan are transported to Kent County’s Waste to Energy Facility where they are incinerated.

According to the West Michigan Take Back Meds website, 20-60 percent of prescription medications go unused and are eventually disposed. A 2002 analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey of 139 streams across 30 states found that 80 percent of waterways tested had measurable concentrations of prescription and nonprescription drugs, steroids and reproductive hormones.

This is the eighth drug take back event to be held nationally. Over its history, the event has collected more than 1,081 tons from 5,327 locations across the country.

To find out more about the program visit, www.wmtakebackmeds.com.

About Metro Health

An award-winning leader in community healthcare, Metro Health serves more than 250,000 patients annually from across West Michigan – and beyond.  In addition to its 208-bed hospital, which provides a comprehensive suite of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, Metro Health has a growing number neighborhood outpatient centers and offices throughout West Michigan, as well as a community clinic for the underserved and a student health clinic on the campus of Grand Valley State University.  With more than 500 physicians on staff, Metro Health provides a growing number of specialty health services, including cancer treatment, heart and vascular, neurology, pulmonology and others.  Many are members of the Metro Health Medical Group.  The hospital is committed to promoting health and wellness through the work of the Metro Health Hospital Foundation, Live Healthy community outreach classes and educational programs and more.  Visit us www.metrohealth.net, follow us on Twitter @MetroHealthGr and like us on Facebook/MetroHealth.

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joseph.weller@metrogr.org