The campus community brought an estimated 29.2 pounds of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications to MTSU’s Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center April 25, making the university’s first Prescription Drug Take-Back Day very successful, event organizers said.
“We consider any amount that is kept away from misuse or improper disposal as a success,” MTSU Police Sgt. Broede Stucky said as the event was about to conclude.
The inaugural drive collected no needles, or “sharps,” as health practitioners call them, MTSU pharmacist Tabby Ragland said, adding that only a few EpiPens were collected. EpiPen is the brand name for a disposable, prefilled automatic injection device that administers epinephrine to counteract severe allergic reactions.
Representatives from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Nashville office are expected to collect all the discarded items between April 30 and May 4.
Stucky said the MTSU Police Department will store the collected drugs securely until the DEA picks them up.
Along with MTSU personnel, student volunteers from Lipscomb University’s College of Pharmacy helped with the first collection event: Andrea Rose of Murfreesboro; Stephanie Crews of Clarksville, Tennessee; Jameson Bouldin of McMinnville, Tennessee; and Kasey Grisham of Carthage, Tennessee.
Ragland said that while the DEA doesn’t require it, she and Lisa Schrader, director of MTSU Health Promotion, wanted to keep a record of the prescription drugs collected at the event. The result was five pages’ worth of information.
“We’ve taken in more things than expected,” Schrader said, adding that “it was busiest (Thursday) morning with the drive-through.”
From 7 to 9 a.m., visitors could drop off items outside in a collection box.
“We’ve already had questions about when we’re going to do it again,” Ragland said.
MTSU Campus Pharmacy, Student Health Services and the University Police Department teamed up to conduct the event.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday, April 27, was postponed until Saturday, May 4, because of the risk of severe weather, Schrader said.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)