The return of the semiannual MTSU Drug Take-Back event sponsored by Campus Pharmacy and University Policewill be from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 22.
Expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines will be accepted at a special drive-up location in the parking lot in front of Health Services at the Health, Wellness and Recreation Center, 1848 Blue Raider Drive.
The pharmacy and MTSU Police hold these events to coincide with National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days, held twice a year.
On-site staff will be observing COVID-19 safety precautions (social distancing and wearing masks) to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and request anyone dropping off medications by car or on foot to apply the same safeguards.
If possible, please leave medicines in their original packaging. For prescription medicines, black out any personally identifying information on the label. Unfortunately, organizers are unable to accept sharps (needles) at this event.
Last fall, the campus take-back event removed nearly 70 pounds of excess medications from the local community.
“It’s important that we all take inventory of the medicines we have in our homes and take steps to get what we don’t need out and properly disposed of. Doing so protects our families, our friends, and our environment,” said Lisa Schrader, Health Promotion director.
“Particularly for people who may be working entirely from home or taking all online classes, it may seem like an inconvenience to come to campus for this event, but we have done everything we can to make the process as quick, easy, and socially distanced as possible,” Schrader added.
Schrader said they are in a slightly different location this year having moved to the front parking lot instead of the side drive-thru lane for the pharmacy.
“If people look for a metal canopy in the front rec center lot, we should be easy to find,” she added. “As in years past, it will allow people to drive up, hand their medicines to us through their car windows, and then be on their way again without ever leaving their vehicles.”
The drug take-back event is part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s overall efforts to raise awareness and remove excess drugs from communities where they could be abused or misused, diverted into the wrong hands or disposed of in environmentally unsafe ways.
“This is important because the nonmedical use of controlled substance medications is at an all-time high,” Schrader said.
A study sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed more than 54% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.
The April event marks the 20th National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative.
For more information, call 615-494-8704 or visit www.mtsu.edu/healthpro.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)