KU taking back unwanted prescription drugs April 25

LAWRENCE — More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2010 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards.

KU is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration to give the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring medications for disposal from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. April 25 at Wescoe Beach or use the convenient drive-up location from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Watkins Memorial Health Center. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Needles, syringes and other medical supplies will not be accepted. Unwanted prescriptions will also be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at the Douglas County Law Enforcement and Judicial Center located at 111 E. 11th St. All drugs collected will be incinerated at an EPA-approved incineration facility.

Last April, KU collected 37 pounds of prescription drugs. In October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds—188.5 tons—of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners.  In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds — nearly 500 tons — of pills. 

This event is sponsored by the KU Academy of Student Pharmacists, Peer Health Educators, Student Health Advisory Board, Student Health Services and the Office of Public Safety.