A campus collaboration has led to a first-time prescription drug take-back collection event at MTSU.
Campus Pharmacy, Health Services and Public Safety are partnering to hold the MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It will be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.
From 7 to 9 a.m., the campus community and general public can bring outdated prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs and unused needles to a drive-through collection area on the south side of the Campus Recreation Center near the Campus Pharmacy drive-through.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., medications will be accepted inside the Rec Center lobby. To prepare for the collection, organizers said medications should be kept in their original packaging when possible. Personal identifying information on the labels should be marked out.
The event is designed to collect expired and unneeded medicines to help prevent accidental misuse or diversion and to keep medicines out of the groundwater supply, said Lisa Schrader, director of Health Promotion.
“Murfreesboro and Rutherford County have participated in drug take-back events the last three years, but we still felt like we were missing an opportunity to not have the campus directly involved,” Schrader said.
“We hope that the on-campus drop off location will be more convenient for our students, faculty and staff, and consequently result in more medications being disposed of safely.”
Sgt. Broede Stucky of the MTSU Department of Public Safety offered a perspective of the university’s prescription drug take-back day.
“This event provides our community with a responsible avenue of disposing of potentially hazardous items in a safe and controlled process,” Stucky said, referring to prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, needles, etc.
“Probably the single most important issue with the drug take-back (event), from the perspective of public safety, is the idea of there being fewer surplus or unused prescription medicines available,” he added. “We would hope that this would decrease instances of abuse or misuse and decrease potential prescription-related overdose situations in our community.”
Pharmacist Tabby Ragland of Campus Pharmacy said the event allows students, faculty and staff to have “a way to destroy any unused medications they may have.”
“By getting medications you no longer use out of your home, it cuts down on the chance that someone could take a medication that was not intended for them,” Ragland added.
“Taking medications that were prescribed for someone else could be harmful and dangerous. It also prevents those medications from being disposed of by an unsafe manner, such as flushing them down the toilet or pouring them down the sink.”
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 27. A communitywide take-back event also set for that day has been rescheduled because of inclement weather.
The community take-back event now will be held next Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to noon at Middle Tennessee Medical Center in the parking lot of the DePaul Building.
For more information, call 615-494-8704 or email Schrader at Lisa.Schrader@mtsu.edu.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)