Covenant Healthcare hosts first annual Medication Take Back Day - WNEM TV 5

Covenant Healthcare hosts first annual Medication Take Back Day

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The nation’s battle with opioids rages on in cities and suburbs alike. As people both young and old wrestle with the very real effects of addiction to painkillers and other prescription medication, health care professionals are trying to figure out how to stem the tide.

An event in Mid-Michigan looked do its part to tackle the problem one pill at a time.

“I do see it and have seen it, and it’s heartbreaking... very, little ones... it’s a tough one,” said Sheri Short, Nurse Manager at the Emergency Care Center.

Short has worked at Covenant Healthcare for 29 years. She said as a Co-Manager of the Emergency Room, she’s seen it all. Whether it’s accidental or addiction related, she said leftover prescription medication can be dangerous.

“People that have that drug addiction, they like to go to grandma and grandpas,” Short said. “That’s the first place they go to see what kind of drugs they have.”

That’s why Covenant Healthcare is hosting its first annual Medication Take Back Day.

Terry Wernette, the Pharmacy Director, said it’s important to dispose of your old medications properly.

“We as a society tend to keep our medications in places that aren’t very secure,” Wernette said. “And we have a hard time getting rid of them once we stop using them and we really need to just get rid of them once we stop using them to protect our children.”

Wernette said it’s not just about keeping the individuals of a community safe, but also the environment as a whole. He said dropping off your old medication with healthcare professionals rather than trying to dispose of them yourself, is the safest option.

“The old days when you thought ‘oh I can flush this down the toilet,’ that goes into the water system,” Wernette said. “A lot of those medications don’t get filtered out. Our waste treatment plants aren’t built to take care of medication.”

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