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MEDICATION DIVERSION is when a prescription medication is given or sold to another person. When a prescription is stolen it is also considered diversion.

Preventing diversion is one of the simplest ways to make an impact on the opioid epidemic.

Most prescription opioids that are misused come from a friend or family member. Sometimes the drugs are stolen, but more often they are willingly given or sold.

The fact that opioid abuse so often starts in our own medicine cabinet means that every person can have a positive impact.

By putting your medications in a lockbox and disposing of them when you no longer need them you can make a difference in the opioid epidemic.

 of misused opioids     come from

 a friend or family member

So how do you dispose of your medications safely?

The Big Red Barrel program will take back prescription and over the counter drugs, including controlled substances like prescription opioids.

This service provides a location for people to dispose of prescription or over-the-counter pills, including controlled substances like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet for free. The Big Red Barrel program is a partnership with local law enforcement agencies. You’ll find a complete list of participating Washtenaw County sheriff and police departments below.

Participating Big Red Barrel Locations in Washtenaw County

Chelsea Police Department

311 S. Main St.

Chelsea, MI 48118
Maps and Directions
Accessible 24 hours a day.


Dexter Sheriff Station

8140 Main St.

Dexter, MI 48130
Maps and Directions

Accessible 24 hours a day.


Manchester Sheriff Station

912 City Rd.

Manchester, MI 48158
Maps and Directions

Accessible during business hours.

Milan Police Department

35 Neckel Ct.

Milan, MI 48160

Map and Directions

Accessible during business hours.

Saline Police Department

100 N. Harris St.

Saline, MI 48176

Map and Directions

Accessible 24 hours a day.


Scio Township Sheriff Station

1055 N. Zeeb Rd.

Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Map and Directions

Accessible 24 hours a day.

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office
2201 Hogback Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Maps and Directions
Accessible during business hours.

Ypsilanti Police Department

505 W. Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Maps and Directions
Accessible during business hours.

Red Barrel Drug Take backs from January-October of 2016 in Washtenaw County
(data provided by Washtenaw County Police Office)

705 pounds or 0.35 tons of opioids drugs were removed off the streets of Washtenaw county (Jan-Oct 2016), please continue to contribute to help curve the opioid epidemic in our community by properly disposing of unused medications!

Other locations around Washtenaw County for medication disposal:

Lenawee County - Big Red Barrel Sites

Livingston County - Big Red Barrel Sites

Oakland County - Operation Medicine Cabinet

In addition, all Michigan State Police posts across the state now serve as collection points for prescription drugs. Medications can be turned in Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., excluding holidays. No appointment is needed. Liquids, inhalers, patches or syringes are not accepted. Visit the Michigan State Police Post page for locations.

Other locations in Michigan state for medication disposal:

To find medication disposal locations all over the state of Michigan, please check out M-OPEN Drug Disposal information and resources page which has a map with all the current locations.

You can also dispose of unwanted/unused opioid medications safely and freely at Drug Take-Back events in your community, these usually take place on weekends, in public spaces for a 2-4 hours.  

Medications of any type should never be flushed down the toilet because they can contaminate our water sources and environment. 


Need more details? Contact the Opioid Project

We are here to help people get involved in ending the opioid epidemic.

Want to find out more about treatment?

Washtenaw County's treatment facilities are can help you recover.

Page material adapted from the following sources:​

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