Growing Up on Land
I grew up on a small farm in Iowa. From a very early age, my parents and grandparents taught me to respect the land. Their motives were not completely selfless. Being farmers, our livelihoods were almost completely dependent on land.
Suddenly, I’m Surrounded By Water
Approximately 20 years ago, I moved to Michigan. The Great Lakes contain approximately 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply. It turns out, Michigan is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes. I quickly became aware of the importance of water.
When I was growing up, my parents taught me the proper way to dispose of medications was to flush them down the toilet. Until I moved to Michigan, I never questioned that teaching. What I have since learned is that the Great Lakes Basin Water is essentially a closed ecosystem – what goes in does not readily come out.
So, when it comes to disposing of unused medications,
“The Solution for Pollution is not Dilution.”
Learning from the Best
Carrie Uthe works for our Lake Shore Health Network. She is the person who, over the years, has been instrumental in getting me to think differently about this issue. Carrie is passionate about helping patients and their families understand the best way to dispose of unused medications. She is also an expert in helping physicians and pharmacists identify ways to prevent patients from receiving too much medication in the first place.
It takes a special kind of leader to not only get physicians, pharmacists, patients and payers to think about an issue differently, but to also act differently.
The Muskegon Area Medical Disposal Program
When it comes to disposing of prescription and over-the-counter medications, Carrie’s advice is to leave it to the professionals at the Muskegon Area Medical Disposal Program (MAMDP).
MAMDP is a volunteer partnership between the Lakeshore Health Network, Muskegon County Health Project, Muskegon County Department of Public Works, law enforcement and local pharmacies.
Since its inception, the program has collected over six tons of unused medication, and collected over 1,500 pounds of sharps. The program has also donated over 260 pounds of new, unused medications.
4 Tips Regarding Medications
- Develop safe medication disposal practices in a resident’s home.
- Request only medications that are needed .
- Complete all prescriptions according to your physician’s instructions.
- Lock up medications.
MAMDP Celebrates Earth Week
This year, MAMDP will be doing its part to help celebrate Earth Week. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, MAMDP will host a collection event at the City of Muskegon Public Works Building (next to Pound Buddies) 1350 East Keating.
“MAMDP is one of the largest collection takeback sites for the Michigan division of the DEA. We’re pleased to recognize Earth Week with this opportunity for our community to make their homes and the environment more safe.” – Carrie Uthe
Accepted items include:
- prescription medications
- over the counter medications
- pet medications
Protecting Our Families, Health, and Home
Living in Michigan, we are stewards of one of the Earth’s greatest freshwater resources.
In the end, however, Earth Week is not about land or water; it’s about protecting the land, the water, and the air that we breathe.
You can help protect these resources by disposing of your unused medications properly. In doing so, you will not only protect the health of your family, but also that of your friends and neighbors for generations to come.
If you would like to learn more about the MAMDP program and future medication drop off dates, visit www.mamdp.com, or give Carrie a call at 231-672-3882.
I would like to share with you the results of the MAMDP Take Back Event.
On Saturday, April 26th the program collected of over 1,965 pounds of medication and 417 pounds of sharps from more than 219 participants.
A huge thank you to all of our volunteers who took their time to greet, run, sort, count, record, and safely box the medications and sharps.
We extend a special thank you to our host – Muskegon County’s DPW and their staff. They were great to work with and we appreciated their hospitality.
Since the program began in 2010, an overwhelming 7 tons (14,259 pounds) of medications have been safely destroyed to date. The program is making an impact and a change in behavior for our area residents on how they dispose of their medications and sharps.
According to the survey’s completed by residents dropping off meds and sharps – 47% now use the Medication Disposal Program to safely dispose. We still have work to do as many are still disposing via their trash/toilet or sink drain.
It is because of our community’s contributions and participation that keeps this worthy program going strong.
It is a pleasure to work with such an amazing team that is always there for our community!
The next free Muskegon Area Medication and Sharps Collection will be
Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Muskegon Fire Station (Central Station) 770 Terrace Street Muskegon, Michigan