By Julia Vergara | Staff Writer
The Baylor University Police Department (BUPD) is bringing National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to campus in order to help the Baylor community safely get rid of unused or unwanted prescription drugs.
Through Monday, Oct. 30, there will be a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reception box for students, faculty and staff to drop off old prescription drugs in the lobby of BUPD’s station located at 1521 S. 4th St.
Chief of Police Brad Wigtil said that it is best practice for all prescription drugs to be properly disposed of.
“Any prescription drug can pose a threat to individuals or the environment,” Wigtil said.
According to Wigtil, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. Additionally, flushing unused medicines down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards.
Prescriptions drugs that are left in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, diversion, misuse and abuse Wigtil said.
BUPD is also concerned with the possibility of accidental overdoses for students, faculty and staff who may have children living with them, Wigtil said.
Wigtil said that they believed National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is an important program to offer to the Baylor community.
“We want to provide great service to our community and thought our participation would make it very convenient for our students, faculty and staff to properly dispose of prescription medication,” Wigtil said.
BUPD will be hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day two times a year and the dates will be determined by the DEA, Wigtil said.
While people are encouraged to drop off their unused pills and patches, BUPD is unable to accept liquids or needles, Wigtil said.
The local DEA offices collect the prescription drugs from local law enforcement to destroy them, Wigtil said.
According to a DEA news release, Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs last April. In the previous 13 drug take-back events, the DEA has taken in more than 4,050 tons (8.1 million pounds) of pills to be properly disposed of.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, the news release said.
“Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high,” the news release said. “As are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”