Schuette Encourages Michigan Residents to Take Advantage of Drug Take Back Day

Designated disposal cites and all 30 MSP posts will be accepting unwanted prescription drugs

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is encouraging all Michigan communities to participate in National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 27, 2018.

Both the state and national drug take back initiatives are dedicated to the proper and safe disposal of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

“Whether your unwanted prescription medication is lost, stolen, or misplaced, don’t be the dealer,” said Schuette. “My department encourages you to take back your unused medications today and help combat the opioid epidemic.”

In Michigan, residents can anonymously dispose of their prescription drugs at any MSP post year round, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.


National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is held twice a year. During the one-day effort in April, MSP posts collected 597 pounds of prescription drugs.

Participating locations will be open on Saturday October 27, 2017 from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. This service is free and anonymous – no questions asked.

All 30 MSP posts will participate in the ‘Take-Back’ initiative by serving as drop-off locations for residents to discard of their unused and unwanted prescription pills.

Disposal sites can only collect pills and/or patches, no liquids, needles or sharps will be accepted. Drug Take Back Days are the safest way to dispose of medications. Unconventional methods of disposal, flushing medication down the drain, or throwing medication in the trash, have been known to damage the environment.


Created in May 2017, the Opioid Trafficking and Interdiction Unit which is part of Schuette’s Criminal Division, is comprised of four assistant attorneys general, each with extensive backgrounds in drug crime prosecution.

The cases have been and will continue to be charged in cooperation with local law enforcement, Michigan State Police narcotics teams and federal agencies.

The unit will also continue to take on felony murder cases in which it is alleged that the delivery of opioids has caused death.

As of August 2018, the unit has investigated and prosecuted cases from 24 Michigan Counties. The unit has received 74 cases from local law enforcement agencies and the Michigan State Police. Nineteen of those cases has resulted in a conviction. Seventeen cases have charges pending and 24 are still under investigation. Three of the convictions have been for delivery of opioids causing death.


According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose that includes prescription opioids and heroin. Each day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids. Prescription opioids are a driving factor in the almost 15-year increase in opioid overdose deaths. Deaths from prescription opioids – drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone – have more than quadrupled since 1999.

In Michigan, from 1999 to 2016 the number of overdose deaths from any type of opioid grew by more than 17 times. Now with the development of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil, opioid use is even more dangerous. The CDC reports Michigan having a prescription rate of 84.9 prescriptions per 100 residents, one of the highest in the country. Prescribing rates for opioids vary across state lines, but in 2016 the overall national average was 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people. Michigan is amid an opioid epidemic.


In May 2017, Schuette urged the Michigan Legislature to direct nearly $1 million from a settlement he negotiated with a pharmaceutical company towards opioid education and addiction prevention programs.

In a letter to Michigan’s legislative leadership, Schuette explained that with an average of five residents dying every day from opioid overdoses, our state has been identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as one of 19 states with a statistically significant increase in opioid-related deaths.

Schuette proposed that the legislature seriously consider using the $859,000 in settlement funds arriving next month in the state’s General Fund to create effective state and/or local opioid prevention programs.

Disaster Preparedness: Precautionary Steps to Take

The recent hurricanes and flooding in Florida and the Carolinas and fires in California, as well as our massive flooding of August of 2014 and power outage of August 2003, remind us that anything could happen, anywhere, at any time. Being proactive by protecting yourself with the following tips may enable you to have a more predictable, stable, solid plan of action if disaster strikes.

1. Develop a plan of action with your family. Identify the types of disasters that might occur in your area, and detail how you would react in each scenario. Consult with your local fire and police departments for tips about how to create emergency evacuation plans and for other disaster preparedness techniques. These plans should be available in a written document that first responders and your family members can access, and they should include contact information and a designated meeting place that is easy to get to after evacuation.

2. You should have supplies in your home to sustain your family for several days (at least three) in the event that you are stranded in the house. This should include water enough for each person and pets. One gallon per person, per day. Do you have enough of your prescription medication?

3. Have a “Go Bag” prepared and ready for quick evacuation. You should enough material for at least three days. This should contain food and water, light and communication, health and hygiene items, shelter and clothing. You should also provide for special needs for the sick, nursing mothers, elderly, and infants. Make sure you grab the following when you leave:

  • Prescription medications, including inhalers
  • Special medical equipment (oxygen tanks or nebulizers)
  • Walkers or wheelchairs
  • Dentures
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Identification
  • Credit cards
  • Favorite dolls and stuffed animals for small children

4. Have every adult and responsible child in your home learn basic life-saving skills, such as CPR and how to prevent hypothermia.

5. Learn the ins and outs of your home, including how to shut off utilities and where the fire extinguishers are located. Identify the best place to seek shelter in the event of a tornado, earthquake, or other threat. Have a fully stocked first aid kit available at all times. Check it on a regular basis to make sure the items have not expired.

6. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them regularly, and change the batteries twice a year.

7. Protect yourself with the right insurance. Consider purchasing flood insurance if your homeowners’ insurance does not include it.

8. If you have small children in the home, teach them how
to call 911 in case of emergencies.

Michigan Mental Health Communities Get Major Boost

Mental health care is often accompanied by a stigma. Its as if its normal to seek help if you have heart trouble or suffer from a chronic disease, but a person must be weak or crazy to seek mental help. It is an area of concern that needs more attention. Although it may be difficult to fight the stigma, the $16 million that was just awarded to expand mental health services in Michigan is a major boost.

Essentially, four facilities in Michigan will each receive $4 million to expand their service, improve their outreach, and better handle crisis calls. It may also be used to expand 24-hour crisis services.

The four Michigan  facilities that will receive the funds include:

  • The Easter Seals in Auburn Hills – a national network that helps people with disabilities.
  • West Michigan Community Mental Health Authority – uses a first-person approach to helping people with mental illness, intellectual disorders, and substance abuse to promote long term well-being.
  • Health West (formerly known as Muskegon Community Mental Health Authority) – offers youth and adult behavioral health services, which include suicide prevention and a Wellness Recovery Action Plan.
  • Kalamazoo County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services – serves adults with mental illness, youth with serious emotional disturbances, and those with a co-occurring disorder.

These faculties will be the first Certified Behavior Health Clinics in Michigan. Since that makes them federally certified, they hope to secure additional federal funding down the road.

The grants are also expected to help with public safety, allowing better outreach so people get the help they need before it turns into a crisis situation. Left unchecked, some people who suffer from mental illness or addiction struggle through life or end up in jail. Additional funding will allow services to further their community outreach and positively effect more people.

How to Prevent Car Break-Ins

It is all too common for thieves to quickly break into cars, not with intention for stealing the car, but to take any items of value left in the vehicle. Referred to as the “smash and grab,” this behavior is done entirely out of opportunity. Therefore, preventing car break-ins is as easy as removing the opportunity.


  1. The first and easiest way to protect your car and belongings from a break-in is to remove all items from the seat, floor, dashboard ,and the glove box. Some items are more appealing than other. Hot items that thieves look for are phones, purses, laptops, small electronics, and money.
  2. Be sure to park in well-lit areas. When parking in public lots, park close to other cars in the lot. A car left along in a darker area is more prone to a break-in since there is less risk of them getting caught.
  3. Be proactive and diligent. Lock your doors every time you get out of the car and keep the windows rolled up. Lock the doors even if you are parking in your own driveway or garage. It is also smart to lock them when you get out for short periods of time, like when getting gas.
  4. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. If something feels off, it probably is.
  5. Never leave your car running while unattended. Cold Michigan winters leave drivers tempted to warm up their cars before heading out, but doing so creates an opportunity for thieves to get in the car and grab whatever items you might have laying around.
  6. Invest in an anti-theft system. Many newer cars come with anti-theft protection, but older cars are especially vulnerable to break-ins.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 40 to 50 percent of car break-ins are due to owner error. The owner is partly at fault for leaving a running car unattended, leaving the keys in the car, leaving the windows down, or leaving valuable items out in plain sight. In other words, owners have given thieves opportunity. By removing the opportunity, you can greatly reduce the chance of

Schuette Recognizes October as National Bullying Prevention Month

LANSING– Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today recognized October as National Bullying Prevention month.

“Bullying is a leading cause of teen suicide in the country, and Michigan is no exception,” said Schuette. “Students should feel safe and comfortable at school, free from fear of their fellow classmates. I remain committed to the OK2SAY program and continue to be impressed by the results of this initiative.”

The Attorney General offers FREE student safety in-school presentations for K-12th grade students, parents, guardians, and community leaders. To date, more than two million Michigan students have attended a presentation.

Students in K-5th grade receive age-appropriate instruction from the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI), a national award-winning program. Students in 6th-12th grade receive dynamic OK2SAY student safety programming.

Adults can learn about our programs and how to host them by attending our Community Seminar or Program Overview. Scheduling is fast and easy on the OK2SAY website.

Presentations are also always available to entire schools. If your school is interested in hosting an OK2SAY/CSI presentation, sign up today on the OK2SAY website.


Schuette asks all Michigan principals to fill out or update the online OK2SAY School Contact Form.  When you designate specific individuals with whom OK2SAY technicians can follow up with regarding tip information, you help them save time and lives.


Students, teachers, parents, school officials, friends, and neighbors can submit tips though any of the following ways:

Call: 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729)
Text:652729 (OK2SAY)
Mobile App: Available for download in app stores for iPhone and Android.

Ford Turning Newly Acquired Train Station into a Haunted House

Though Michigan Central Station stood empty for 30 years, Ford plans on turning the building into a Haunted House. What once served the Corktown area in Detroit as the main rail depot will soon feature shops, restaurants, and bars, but not before they give Detroiters a little scar.

The Michigan Central Station will be transformed into a House that will be free to the public and Ford is expecting a big turnout. The building holds historical value and since Ford purchased the building earlier this year, it brings hope to Corktown.

The vacant rail depot was built in 1913 and formally opened for business on January 4, 1914. The train station is paired with 18 stories of office space, making it the tallest train station of it’s era.

1988 was the last year that Amtrak ran a train from the station. The building has sat empty ever since, falling prey to vandals and theft. The Michigan Central Station Preservation Society was formed in 2009, in which volunteers have worked to preserve and restore the historic train station. They will continue to do so, even after the property was purchased by Ford this year for $90 million. They expect to have $270 million in repairs done in order to make use of the space again.

Ford plans to renovate the train depot and turn it into a tech center with food and shopping outlets, breathing life not only into the building, but also in the Corktown area of the city.

Detroiters don’t have to wait for the renovations to see inside the  Michigan Central Station, however. While details of the event are still pending, Ford will open the doors of this historic depot to the public.

How to Be Prepared for Michigan National Disasters

In the wake of hurricane Florence and in light of September being National Emergency Preparedness Month, it is a good time to review how to prepare for a national disaster. While Michigan is not in the path of a hurricane, the state certainly has it’s share of storms. Being ready for these situations just takes a little planning.

Whether your area is hit by a severe thunderstorm or has a record-breaking amount of snow or ice, being prepared goes a long way.

The Michigan State Police is making people aware of what may be needed after a natural disaster occurs. They state that every family should have a plan and a minimal amount of supplies to manage for at least three days without assistance.

An emergency kit is at the top of the essentials needed. Police and other first responders are often spread thin in these situations and may not be able to get to your residence in a timely manner. Learning first aid and being able to handle minor health concerns is something citizens should do.

Aside from being able to treat minor wounds and illnesses, it is essential to have supplied on hand. Residents may be without a car or electricity for several days after a big storm hits. A few things to keep in the house include: a first aid kit, medication, plenty of bottled water, a minimum of three days’ worth of food, and flashlights with extra batteries.

While car chargers for phones may be helpful in some situations, residents also need to consider that cell towers may not be functional in certain situations. That means that the ability to make cell phone calls would be lost, as well as the ability to look up weather conditions using a cell phone. It is best to have an old school, battery operated radio on hand to stay on top of the weather conditions in the area.

An evacuation plan is also recommended. Learn if there are shelters set up nearby that could accommodate your family in the event that you lose your home or it becomes inhabitable. Plan specifically for your family, their ages and any pets in the home, as well as any specifically medical needs. Then plan an escape route and a communication plan to keep the family safe.

Michigan National Disasters include tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms, and floods. How well you prepare for such events may help save your life and keep your family safe.

Belle Isle Fountain to Receive Upgrade Funds

There has been debate in recent years over hosting the Grand Prix race on Belle Isle Park every summer. But the race proved beneficial to the park after all. The Belle Isle Fountain is expected to receive a $400,00 upgrade thanks to the fundraising Grand Prixmiere Gala that took place this summer.

Built in 1925, the James Scott Fountain, situated on the island park in Detroit could certainly use a makeover. Despite volunteer’s best efforts, the water fountain needs some work. The pipes and valves are leaky and the marble stature is in need of repairs that could takes years.

The Belle Isle Aquarium

The fountain is not the only area being improved on Belle Isle. The aquarium, built in 1904, is one of the oldest aquariums and had even shut down before. After reopening in 2012, the aquarium has made marked improvements. With just 10 open tanks at the moment, they are planning to fill three of those spots this fall. The goal is to have a full aquarium by this time next year.

Aquatic life isn’t the only improvement that has been made to the aquarium in recent years. Building renovations continue with repairing tiles, updating the lighting, and opening skylights. Improved signage is next on the agenda for the aquarium.

The Belle Isle Boat House

Another point on interest on Belle Isle is undergoing renovations as well. The Boat House, which used to be called the Detroit Boat Club, was built in 1902. Though it has a historic and beautiful structure, people often assume the building is closed because of its appearance. Until this point, volunteers have done what they could to restore the building by fixing windows and fixing stairway spindles.

In keeping the uniqueness of the boat house, the coming changes are expected to be restorative. A gala was held this spring as a fundraiser to preserve the historic building.

The Restoration Efforts of Belle Isle Park

Belle Isle Park, as a whole, has been a work-in-progress, but we continue to see efforts towards the restoration that go beyond the fountain upgrades. Restoring Lake Okonoko and connecting it to the Detroit River is expected to enhance the experience while fishing, canoeing, and kayaking the area.

According to the Belle Isle Park Strategic Management Plan, their action plan includes continued restoration of existing historic buildings, which include the Casino, and re-purposing buildings and structures that are no longer in use, such as the Children’s Zoo.

Masking upgrades to the Belle Isle Fountain is just one of many ways that the park is being restored to its previous condition. Along with the larger renovations, the park plans to improve picnic areas, gardens, and trails.

Schuette Encourages Residents to Attend October Consumer Education Programs

LANSING – Attorney General Bill Schuette encourages Michigan residents to learn more about being a savvy consumer. The Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is offering a variety of educational programs throughout the month of October aimed at keeping Michigan consumers safe and up-to-date on the latest scams.


  • Home Repair & Improvement – Learn the telltale signs of home repair scams, unscrupulous contractors, and how to navigate the home improvement process.
  • Phone, Mail, & e-Scams – Learn the signs of scams prevalent in phone calls, mail, email, and texts, along with steps to take to minimize your risk of being victimized.
  • Identity Theft – Learn about the signs of identity theft, how to protect your personal information online and off, and what to do if you become an identity theft victim
  • Online Safety – Learn how to protect your devices, money, and personal information while online. Also provides information on how to avoid common and emerging online scams.
  • In Home Care & Senior Residences – Learn about resources available to help you make the best decisions regarding care for yourself or your loved ones at home or in a senior residence.
  • Investment Fraud – Learn how to recognize fraudulent investments and obtain objective facts about reverse mortgages and annuities. Also provides information on how to investigate both the seller and the product before investing.


In 2017, the Department of Attorney General presented 723 consumer protection programs reaching 14,535 consumers. So far in 2018, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has held nearly 500 events educating more than 9,000 consumers.


In addition to the free educational programs, the Consumer Protection Division also publishes an electronic quarterly newsletter. To sign up to receive the newsletter or schedule a local presentation, visit the Attorney General’s website.

Schuette is also dedicated to protecting children across the state of Michigan, and his office runs safety programs like OK2SAY and Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI). These programs inspire Michigan students to share and respond to student safety threats and break the code of silence. In the 2017-2018 school year, more than a quarter of a million attendees went to an OK2SAY/CSI presentation.

To schedule a student safety presentation for the 2018-2019 school year, visit the OK2SAY website.


Consumer Education Presentations are available for your group, club, or class on the topics outlined above.

To register for a presentation, please complete the online registration form. You may also print a copy of the registration form and submit it to the following address:

Michigan Department of Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909

Schuette: Food for the Poor Agrees to Pay $300,000 to Settle Allegations of Deceptive Charitable Solicitations

Settlement will be split between the Food Bank Council of Michigan and the Capuchin Soup Kitchen; money will go directly toward feeding Michigan families in need

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his Charitable Trust Section has reached a settlement with Food for the Poor, a large Florida-based charity that solicits nationwide, to settle allegations of deceptive charitable solicitations.

Last December, Schuette alleged that Food for the Poor’s mailings overstated its efficiency when it told donors that “more than 95% of all donations go directly to programs that help the poor.” While denying that its solicitations were deceptive, Food for the Poor has agreed to cease this and other allegedly deceptive language as well as pay $300,000. Of the settlement amount, $175,000 will go to the Food Bank Council of Michigan and $75,000 to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen; both charities distribute food to hungry Michigan families. The remaining $50,000 of the settlement will reimburse the State of Michigan for investigative costs.

“I appreciate Food for the Poor’s willingness to correct its solicitations and resolve this matter,” said Schuette. “And I am pleased that settlement proceeds will help hungry families in Michigan. This action and settlement should also serve as a reminder to other charities to review regularly the accuracy of their solicitations.”

The Food Bank Council of Michigan, located in Lansing, will receive $175,000 as part of the settlement. The organization works with regional food banks across the state of Michigan to provide emergency food support to individuals in need throughout the state of Michigan.

“Trust is a precious gift and it is an honor that we cherish at the Food Bank Council of Michigan, said Phil Knight Director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “These funds will be used to help Michigan citizens who are struggling with the toxic stress of food insecurity to find some relief and hope through the distribution of healthy nutritious food across our statewide network.”

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen of Detroit will receive $75,000 from the settlement. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen was founded during the Great Depression by Capuchin friar Solanus Casey, who was beatified last year by the Catholic Church. Today, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen has two soup kitchens and a food pantry in the city of Detroit and serves Detroit’s homeless population.

“The Capuchin Franciscan friars will use the funds from this settlement to provide food for those in need and we are grateful for all who have contributed to make this possible, said Br. Jerry Johnson, OFM Cap., executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.”