MTSU experienced a record day during its third Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 24.
Representatives collected 57.8 pounds of medications dropped off by primarily MTSU employees during the event, which was held near the Campus Pharmacy drive-thru outside the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.
“We were shocked,” Campus Pharmacy pharmacist Tabby Ragland said. “We felt like it was an extremely successful take-back event. We did three times the amount (19.4 pounds) that we collected in the fall.”
Part of a national prescription drug take-back program, MTSU’s event is held so that medication users can properly dispose of their unused, old and expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
MTSU has collected nearly 88 pounds of medicine during the three take-back days. MTSU Public Safety will turn the medicines over to an official with the Drug Enforcement Agency, which will destroy them, Ragland said.
Ragland said a “very strong, successful first hour” got things off to a solid start, and it grew from there.
Kara Hooper was among the dozens of people who either hand-delivered or drove through the drop area with medications they no longer needed.
“I am very grateful for the drug take-back day because I’m concerned about the environment and the affects that pharmaceuticals have on our water supply,” said Hooper, who serves as director of MTSU Creative and Visual Services. “The fact that MTSU provides a safe way to dispose of unused drugs in such a convenient way is very valuable to me.”
Ragland said contributors remain anonymous. Students from Lipscomb University’s College of Pharmacy used markers to black out information on the prescription vials.
Sgt. Vergena Forbes represented Public Safety during the six-hour collection period.
The event is a collaboration between Public Safety, Campus Pharmacy, Health Services and Health Promotion.
Ragland said the fourth take-back day will be held in the fall, likely in late October.
For more information, visit the DEA website at http://www.justice.gov/dea/index.shtml.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)