National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Marjan Hussein
Staff Writer

Student Health Services is set to host the DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day which will be on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Carkoski Commons 21. The National Drug Take Back Day will be the same week but on Saturday, Oct. 27 during the same time period. 

Prescription Drug Take Back Day is simple: All students, faculty and staff have to do is to drop off any used, unwanted or expired drugs in the Carkoski Commons inside a designated box that will be placed in the lobby.

Ann Johnson, RPH and Pharmacy Supervisor of SHS states that the main reason for making the Prescription Drug Take Back day a weekday was to ensure accessibility to all students, staff and faculty at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

In addition to Johnson, who will oversee the drug collection activity, Antonia Yenser, Alcohol and Drug Coordinator, and Stephanie Wilkins, a police officer with the Mankato Public Safety Department will also be present at the drop off point. The event is sponsored by Student Health Services, University Security and Mankato Department of Public Safety. 

This will be the first time that the Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be on the campus of Minnesota State Mankato. “Student Health Services usually refers students to the Mankato Public Safety Center on South Front Street, as the center is an excellent location to dispose of drugs that are expired, prove of no use or are unwanted by an individual all year round at any convenient time for the person with no questions asked,” Johnson said. Johnson states that the purpose of having the Prescription Drug Take Back day on campus is to create awareness and inform students on proper disposal of drugs in a safe manner. “When dropping of drugs removing the label with the name of the individual the drugs were assigned to or placing an indelible mark over it is recommended,” said Johnson. “However, keeping the label of the drug name is useful as it will aid the people sorting the drugs out after collection to know what the drug is,” added Johnson.

The aim of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs in addition to educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. “Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an ideal platform to educate people on public health shedding light on issues such as prescription misuse, accidental overdose and environmental protection while disposing drugs,” Johnson said. There will also be an informational sheet present in the lobby of the SHS that one can pick up as they drop of the drugs. Johnson states that a national study conducted in the U.S. showed that in 2016, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. In the study it shows that majority of the misused drugs were obtained from family and friends. Thus, the Prescription Drug Take Back Day presents the best alternative to get rid off unwanted drugs that could prove harmful in the home.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was an initiative set up over a decade ago and since then it has managed to collect a total weight of 4,982 tons of drugs. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a bi-annual event that takes place every fall and spring. This being the first time the event will be held on campus, it will act as a test for Student Health Services to analyze whether it will meet their expectations. 

“The Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a way for students to make sure that they can help with environmental protection and to prevent misuse as well as accidental overdose of drugs,” Johnson said. The Prescription Drug Take Back day presents an opportunity not only to properly dispose prescription drugs but to also acquire vital information on drugs that will prove useful throughout one’s lifetime.

Feature photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter. 

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