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Free Monitor, Lock, and Dispose Program

Published on Thursday, August 03, 2017

hands with prescription drugsAccording to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over six million Americans in the last month have used a prescription drug or stimulant for non-medical use. The same survey found that daily there are nearly 5,500 Americans who misuse prescription drugs the first time they are prescribed.

In an effort to address this issue, McLaren Northern Michigan is offering a free Monitor, Lock, and Dispose program on August 29 from 6-7 p.m. at the John and Marnie Demmer Wellness Pavilion and Dialysis Center. Lauren Czarnowczan, CHES®, Community Health Outreach Specialist at McLaren Northern Michigan, and Ed Strzelinski, pharmacist from the Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drug Drop-off Program (POD), will discuss the importance of keeping medication safe during the prescribed use and afterwards. This program is intended for anyone who takes medication, knows someone who takes medication, or has the chance to begin taking medications in the future.

“It is clear from the statistics that there is a prevalent issue with over-prescribing, as well as an increase in easy access to prescriptions,” stated Czarnowczan. “Not disposing of your unused medications can lead to individuals having an open gateway to misusing prescription drugs, that are many times not their own.”

The City of Petoskey Department of Public Safety will host a Medication Dropoff on the same date and location from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. to allow community members to properly and safely dispose of their unused medications. According to the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 65 percent of individuals have used a prescription drug non-medically that they either were given for free from a family or friend, stole it from a family or friend, or bought it from an individual. “This statistic shows the lack of education on how to properly monitor, lock, and dispose,” stated Czarnowczan. “This is such an important concept to help prevent the prescription misuse epidemic.”

Registration is encouraged but not required. To learn more about the Monitor, Lock, and Dispose program, please contact Lauren Czarnowczan at (231) 487-4633 or visit