Detroit Catholic Central High School Freshman Jonathon Creen, along with the help of Nurse Laura Helm, is honoring National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by hosting a Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, October 28 from 10 AM to 2 PM. The event will be held on the school’s campus at 27225 Wixom Road, Novi, Michigan 48374. There will be a drop-off tent located at the front drive.
"When I was 10 years old, we lost a close family friend to cancer. Her son was unable to cope. He became lost in the world of drug addiction and I started to learn about the struggle of overcoming addiction. For him, it began at home from unused pain medications. My family decided to do something to make a difference for our friends and others with similar struggles. People retain lots of prescription medications in their homes and they don’t have an easy way to dispose of them. Some of these medications are narcotics, which pose a potential risk for abuse and misuse. My goal is to bring education and awareness about the dangers of narcotics and addiction to those in high school via the Take Back event. It provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of drugs and preventing misuse of them," stated Jonathon.
Community members are encouraged to attend the event to turn in expired or unneeded medications for proper disposal. Nurse Helm will be assisting Jonathon with the proper disposal of the medicines along with the Novi Police Department and the local Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“The inspiration to organize this event evolved when one of our student's, Jonathon Creen, came to me with a passion to be more involved in bringing awareness to the school community regarding drug misuse, the opioid epidemic, and to further aid our prevention education efforts. He suggested hosting a Drug Take Back Day and I fully supported his idea,” stated Nurse Helm.
“Jonathon and I have paired up with the DEA and the Novi Police Department to host our Take Back Day. Novi Community Coalition and Oakland Schools have also supported us in advertising our Drug Take Back Day. We have asked to place flyers throughout our school and have posted flyers on our school's social media platforms,” continued Nurse Helm.
According to the DEA, there is a clear and present drug overdose epidemic in the United States that poses a public health safety threat. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day encourages Americans to remove unneeded medications from their home to prevent misuse and opioid addiction from starting.
Properly disposing of your medications is also a good way to keep our water clean. Pouring pharmaceutical drugs down the drain or flushing them can pollute drinking water and contaminate lakes, polluting aquatic life.
“Having a Drug Take Back Day in our community can provide a secure location to safely and properly dispose of unused medication. It's an opportunity to decrease the amount of unused prescriptions and controlled substances available in our community for potential misuse, abuse, or accidental ingestion. It can also prevent contaminating our environment and water supplies by not flushing these unused medications or throwing them into the regular trash,” Nurse Helm shared.
“Students and families can participate by driving through the bus loop in front of Catholic Central's main entrance and dropping unwanted prescription medications and controlled substances into the boxes provided. There is no need to get out of your car. We are asking that you do not dispose of any sharps or needles into the boxes. Just medication,” Nurse Helm explained.
Students and families who may be in need of mental health or substance abuse treatment or those who would like to be more involved can find help through samhsa.gov, dea.gov, oaklandchn.org or by dialing 988. There are many volunteer opportunities and treatment centers for youth and adults on those websites.
If you are unable to attend the Drug Take Back Event, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends checking to see if the drug in question is on the FDA flush list. If it’s not, then you should follow protocols for discarding the medicine in your trash at home.
You can also volunteer with the Novi Community Coalition by visiting their website. If you have any questions about Drug Take Back Day, you may call the nursing office at 248-596-3820.