2013-01-24 / Lifestyles

Drug program makes strides

‘Yellow Jugs’ making difference in state

LANSING – During the recent quarterly collection at participating pharmacies in Michigan, the Yellow Jug, Old Drugs program collected 7,746 pounds of unused/ unwanted drugs. Yellow Jug, Old Drugs is a program that works in partnership with local pharmacies to collect and properly dispose of unwanted/unused drugs in a safe and approved manner to help keep our water clean. Individuals can dispose of unused/unwanted drugs free of charge at participating pharmacies.

Currently, there are 251 pharmacies participating in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. The program was started by Great Lakes Clean Water, a nonprofit organization, in May 2009. A total of 55,516 pounds has been collected to date.

According to Chris Angel, GLCW president, interest in the Yellow Jug, Old Drugs program continues to grow.

“It’s a win-win for pharmacies to provide the program and for the residents where those pharmacies are located.” he said. “We all want clean water and disposing of unused/unwanted drugs properly is something we can all do to help keep our water safe.”

Angel added, presently, retail pharmacies can only accept noncontrolled substances, however, new regulations proposed by the Drug Enforcement Agency will soon change that.

“Since the beginning of our program four years ago we planned for being able to accept controlled substances at some point,” he explained. “We are now taking steps that will allow us to do that in accordance with the new (DEA) regulations.”

Program support in Michigan is provided by local pharmacies, United Water, Detroit Renewable Power, SSCENT, Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan, Northern Michigan Substance Abuse Services, Barry County Substance Abuse Task Force, Gratiot County Solid Waste Authority, Ten Sixteen Recovery Network and the Michigan DEQ Michigan Community Pollution Prevention Grant Program for the development of ongoing household drug collection programs.

To find a participating pharmacy in your area go to www.greatlakescleanwater.org or call (989) 736-8179

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