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.  After numerous deaths throughout Livingston County that were attributed to drug overdoses, Livingston County Community Alliance members (LCCA) members saw the need for a place where people could safely dispose of their unwanted medication. 

Big Red Barrel program program 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 Livingston County sheriff and police departments below. 

  • Michigan State Police, Brighton Post

  • Fowlerville Police Department

  • Hamburg Police Department

  • Pinckney Police Department

  • The Livingston County Jail

  • Unadilla Police Department

  • Green Oak Township Police Department

  • Brighton Police Department

  • Howell Police Department

  • Any Michigan State Police Post

As of April, 2014, 1,756 pounds of pills have been collected from the Big Red Barrels!
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 Wake Up Livingston

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

Want to find out more about treatment?

 Local treatment facilities are can help you recover.

Page material adapted from the following sources:​

Stepping Stones Engagement Center is a program of Livingston County Community Mental Health and funded by a grant through the Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan.