FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – This National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, one Metro Detroit mother is urging people to get rid of their unused medications so they can’t harm anyone.
“The sad part about someone in addiction: It’s up to them to save themselves,” said Jackie Salo.
Salo’s son Zachary died from a drug overdose three and a half years ago. She says he started smoking marijuana recreationally when he was 13 years old, and shortly after, a family member introduced him to prescription pills.
“The family member denies it and, to this day, doesn’t take any responsibility for it,” Salo said. “But I felt betrayed.
“As a mother, you’d give your life for your kid,” Salo continued.
By 16 years old, Zachary was hooked on opioids. And, like so many others, he eventually switched from pills to heroin.
“There (are) really no words. Anybody who has lost a child, they know what I’m saying,” Salo said. “I feel that the drugs cheated me and my family out of what could have been.”
Salo says that clearing out unused or expired prescriptions can quite literally save lives.
“These kids can easily go to grandma’s cabinet or their parent’s cabinet -- that’s what people don’t understand,” Salo said. “It might be a choice, the first time. But once that opiate changes the brain chemistry ... I think it’s like 3 percent of people on opiates actually recover. It’s a very low number.”
On National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday, locations all across Metro Detroit have been open to offer people a safe way to get rid of prescription pills.
“I think it’s great, I’ve done it quite a few times,” Salo said. “Hopefully, even if it saves one person from an overdose, it’s worth it.”
You can find where you can drop of drugs at any time of the year using the DEA’s Controlled Substance Public Disposal website here.