MTSU Officials Collect 76.5 Pounds, 60 Vapes During Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Apr 29, 2024 at 09:04 pm by WGNS News

Chipper Smith, MTSU Office of Prevention Science and Recovery, left and MTSU Pharmacist Tabby Ragland, right

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee State University officials collected nearly 76.5 pounds of medications during the spring Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on campus Wednesday, April 24, as part of a national drive.

The public contributed 76.5 pounds, said Tabby Ragland, pharmacist in the MTSU Pharmacy. This included 41.8 pounds of over-the-counter drugs, 32.2 pounds of prescription medications and 3.5 pounds of controlled substances. They also collected 60 vapes.


The event, open to the campus community and public, is a partnership between Campus Pharmacy, University Police and Student Health Services. Campus Police Specialist Leroy Carter assisted with the drive, held near the Campus Pharmacy drive-thru outside the Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.

“It was a very successful event,” Ragland said. “We had lots of MTSU community members dropping off old and unused/expired medications as well as pet meds. It was the first time for us to collect vapes, but the goal was to get them disposed of correctly.”

Becky Figueroa, health coach in Student Health Services, Chipper Smith and Gabby Cathey also assisted with the 5½ hour drive. Smith is senior project coordinator in the MTSU Office of Prevention Science and Recovery and Cathey is prevention specialist for Prevention Coalition for Success in Murfreesboro.

Event organizers asked participants to leave medicines in their original packaging. For prescription medications, they were asked to black out any personally identifying label information. No sharps (needles) were accepted.

This event was part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s overall efforts to remove excess drugs from communities where they could be abused or misused, diverted into the wrong hands or disposed of in environmentally unsafe ways.

The event, part of a national Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, aims to provide a safe, secure and environmentally responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse and trafficking of medications.

MTSU officials are planning a fall drug take-back day, with the date to be announced.

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