Midland Coalition Seeing Huge Success with Medication Take-Backs, MPD Now Stepping Up Involvement

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- The medication take-back program sponsored by the Midland Coalition has become so successful with the numbers of pills being taken in, that city's law enforcement is now stepping up their efforts to help the program dispose of all the medication.

In 2010, a total of 100,132 pills were rounded up. Approximately 183,046 pills were collected in 2011. In 2012, the total jumped to 636,863 collected pills.

Midland Coalition's, Kim Henderson, says, "It is crazy but it's a wonderful type of 'crazy.' It's been so successful and people really want to dispose of their medications properly."

The coalition holds medication take-back events throughout the year, but recently they also placed secure drop-boxes at the Midland County Sheriff's Department and Graham Pharmacy. The box at the pharmacy has consistently been filling up in just a matter of days.

"It was so successful that we actually could not keep up with emptying it fast enough," Henderson said. So, the box at the pharmacy was just pulled, pending Midland Police Department's assistance with the program.

The Midland Coalition is now proud to announce that MPD will be gathering pills from the drop-boxes on a weekly basis.

Midland Police Officer, John Kerrigan, says, "We're all going to be doing this in our unit. We'll just rotate [with cleaning out the boxes]."

The coalition wants to drive the point home that properly disposing unwanted or expired medications is safer for the environment and aids in the prevention of recreational drug use.

"The fastest growing addiction right now amongst the youth is prescription medications," Henderson said.

The next medication take-back event will be held on Saturday, February second from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Palmer Drug Abuse Program at 1208 West Wall Street in Midland. The coalition is still seeking additional volunteers. For more information, contact PDAP at (432) 685-3645.