Events are being held across the state this weekend, including in Livingston County, to help dispose of expired medications, especially opioid painkillers.

This Saturday, April 27th, Livingston County residents can get rid of opioids and other unused and expired prescription medicines at various locations. A number of local law enforcement agencies will serve as collection sites, along with municipal offices. All of the events will run from 10am to 2pm. According to the Michigan Department of Education, nearly 13% of Livingston County youths have abused prescription drugs and painkillers in the past 30 days, a rate higher than the national average. The FDA also recently released a study on the harmful effects of medications that are flushed or dumped into the environment. The Red Barrel project is designed to combat both these issues by collecting and disposing of unused medications in your bathroom cabinet.

Genoa Township is among those participating in Saturday’s drug take-back event and the Big Red Barrel will be at the township hall off Dorr Road. 70 pounds was collected during the first event – which Supervisor Bill Rogers tells WHMI was extremely successful and quite surprising. Rogers says when they originally talked to those behind the Big Red barrel Project, they indicated they wanted to try it out so they gave it a go. He says as long as benefits all parties, they’ll continue to house it. Those dropping off items in Genoa Township are asked to bring a plastic bag filled with all outdated and/or unused medication. Sharps also will be collected for a one-time only opportunity. Controlled substances and all other solid dosage medications are accepted with no questions asked. Liquid medication will be accepted if stuffed into a Ziplock bag with enough paper towels to absorb all the liquid. No inhalers will be accepted. Also, the Drain Commissioner's office will also be on-site to collect sharps and needles. Sharp collection is open to residents. Businesses and medical facilities are not allowed to dispose of sharps at this event. Sharps need to be in a heavy plastic container -- i.e. Red "Sharp" Box or empty plastic laundry detergent jug sealed with tape.

Details about the different prescription drug-take back events on Saturday can be found through the provided link. (JM)