MTSU Pharmacy hosts Drug Take Back Day for students, community

Photo by Steve Barnum

Drug Take Back Day was held at MTSU on Thursday in an effort to help students and members of the community to properly dispose of unused drugs.

MTSU hosted their semi-annual Drug Take Back Day event, collecting over 77 pounds of medications. With the help of pharmacy staff and volunteers, people from all over Rutherford County were encouraged to bring their unused drugs of any kind to dispose of them.

Tabby Ragland, the Pharmacy Manager at MTSU, was in charge of overseeing each class of drug that was brought in from the community. According to her count, the total collection had reached the following: 39.4 pounds of over-the-counter drugs; 33.2 pounds of prescription drugs; and 4.8 pounds of controlled substances. In total, 77.4 pounds of medications were safely returned.

Derrick Roth, a fourth-year student at University of Tennessee’s College of Pharmacy, participated in the event.

Roth said that Drug Take Back Day “helps get unused medications off the streets.” He continued, “A lot of these medications are dangerous to people’s health if they take them incorrectly. If children were able to get a hold of them, it could be potentially dangerous.”

According to the FDA’s website, “In 2007, there were 255,732 cases of improper medicine use reported to Poison Control Centers in the United States. Approximately 9% of these cases (23,783) involved accidental exposure to another person’s medicine. Approximately 5,000 of these accidental exposure cases involved children 6 years and younger.”

Jordan Todd, a fourth-year student at the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy, stated, “This is important to get old and unused medications out of homes so they aren’t subjected to abuse, or get into the wrong hands such as children.”

For those who were unable to participate in the fall semester’s Drug Take Back Day event but wish to turn in unwanted medications, there are still options.

“There’s also drop off locations around town as well,” Ragland said. “The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office has one, and it’s open 24/7, no questions asked.”

According to Roth, other events will be held MTSU as well where they will be doing drug take-backs. The events are generally held once a semester and aim to collect any sort of drugs that could potentially be harmful, such as over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and controlled medications.

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