As the opioid epidemic tears through the country, prescription drug abuse has been an increasingly important issue. Whether accidental or intentional, improperly taking prescription medication can have negative effects on the person ingesting them. This weekend, the UCPD and the American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists will be cohosting Drug Take Back Day in hopes of increasing awareness on how to responsibly use and dispose of prescription medications.
Drug Take Back Day will take place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will give members of the community a chance to dispose of old drugs and obtain advice from a pharmacist on their current medications. It will also feature trivia and giveaways, as well as bean bag toss and drunk goggles.
To participate in Drug Take Back Day, all one has to do is go to the UConn Police Department with any medications that one would like to dispose of or has questions about. The event is open to everyone, not just students.
The event will be accepting a wide variety of medications, including prescriptions, over the counter drugs, vitamins and even pet prescriptions. They cannot accept liquids, aerosols, hazardous drugs or needles, as they must be disposed of in a particular way.
Lieutenant Jason Hyland of the UCPD believes that events like Drug Take Back Day are beneficial to the campus community for a number of reasons. Lieutenant Hyland said that all drugs received by the UCPD during this event will be logged for weight and type and disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. The UCPD will not record personal information.
Lieutenant Hyland hopes that Drug Take Back Day will help decrease the abuse of prescription medication.
“The more unused medication lying around… the more that is being used illicitly or sold off,” said Lieutenant Hyland “A lot of pill abuse… comes from peer supplied medication.”
Drug Take Back Day will also give community members a chance get information about their prescriptions from student pharmacists. Student pharmacists will review common uses, side effects and drug interactions, and advise on how to properly take medications. There will also be several pharmacists available to assist student pharmacists and those attending the event.
The Generation Rx Chair with the American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists, Mary Mulrooney, stressed the importance of responsible medication disposal.
“Dropping off their medications they don't use will ensure that no one will accidentally or purposefully take medication that they aren't prescribed… as well as reduce the drug pollution into our water/soil,” Mulrooney said.
Mulrooney also believes that Drug Take Back Day will be a positive experience for the student pharmacists assisting with the event.
“This will provide our student pharmacists with direct experience interacting with our student body and community to provide medication optimization and promote drug safety,” Mulrooney said.
For anyone who is interested in disposing of their old medication but cannot make it to Drug Take Back Day this weekend, a similar event will be held on April 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The UCPD also has a 24/7 drug drop box at their station for those interested in responsibly disposing their prescriptions.
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.