MTSU offers prescription drug take-back event April 24

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MTSU pharmacist Tabby Ragland, foreground, accepts unwanted prescription medications while student pharmacists Derek Groff, Jordan Todd and Hallie Cunningham assist with the process in the annual fall MTSU Pharmacy-sponsored Drug Take-Back Day in October 2016. The spring take back day is from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

The MTSU campus community and general public are welcome to participate in the next MTSU Drug Take-Back Day from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday (April 24) near the Campus Pharmacy drive-thru.

Expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines will be accepted. To find the drop-off location on the south side of the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Sponsored by Campus Pharmacy and University Police, the drug take-back event is part of a national collection drive led by 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.

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Campus officials request, if possible, people leave medicines in their original packaging. For prescription medicines, black out any personally identifying information on the label.

Those collecting the unwanted medications are unable to accept sharps (needles) at this event.

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The 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.

The nonmedical use of controlled substance medications is at an all-time high. A study sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed more than 54 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.

Last fall, 77 pounds of medicine was collected at MTSU collection events, said Lisa Schrader, director of Health Promotion. In total, about 400 tons of medicines have been disposed of nationally since take-back collections began in 2010.

"These collection events continue to be a valuable service we can provide to members of our campus community who may not otherwise have a convenient way to dispose of unneeded medicines," Schrader said.

In Tennessee, 29,700 pounds were collected in October 2017. Nationally, 456 tons (912,305 pounds) were collected.

MTSU has more than 240 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.

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