Sheriff’s Department teams up with MU to host drug take back event

Old prescription medications can be disposed of properly at the event.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department, in partnership with the Youth Community Coalition and law enforcement agencies throughout Boone County, will be conducting a Prescription Drug Take Back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at the MU Student Center, according to a Boone County Sheriff's Department news release.

Students are encouraged to bring old prescription medications to be properly disposed of during the event. Any kind of pills will be accepted for disposal. The public is asked not to bring needles or injectables.

Major Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said there are many reasons why the Prescription Drug Take Back event is taking place.

“Primarily, it provides proper disposal of prescription medications so they don’t end up in the hands of someone that they were not prescribed to,” he said. “Unfortunately, we find prescription medications being bought and sold.”

Disposing of unused medications properly also helps stop pollution, he said.

“It helps out with this environment,” Reddin said. “Back in the day, you would flush old meds down the toilet, but that’s not environmentally sound.”

To participate in the Prescription Drug Take Back, students need only bring old medications, with the exception of sharps, to the event.

“We have folks sign a waiver or release form to make sure they are voluntarily giving up what they (have),” he said. “This is not intended (for students to) bring crack cocaine. This is a bring your old prescription medications (event).”

The Drug Enforcement Administration disposes of the collected drugs, he said.

“The DEA provides boxes with liners, and those boxes are brought here to the sheriff’s department,” Reddin said. “The DEA picks them up on Monday and collects all of the boxes. (They) take them to their facility for proper disposal.”

MU has participated successfully in the event in the past.

“(The Prescription Drug Take Back) is being done with conjunction with the national drug prescription take back,” Wellness Tobacco Coordinator Tiffany Bowman said. “It is our second year, but our third take back event.”

Although the event has only been by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department for two years, the take backs have drawn a large crowd, Reddin said.

“Last spring we collected over 64,000 pills,” he said. “That weighed around 175 pounds of medications turned in. You sometimes have people in assisted living homes having someone turn in all their medications, so they bring a lot.”

Students are encouraged to bring in anything and everything, Bowman said.

“People bring in everything from vitamins that they bought over the counter to prescription painkillers,” she said.

The take back is completely anonymous, and any personal information collected during the event is protected or disposed of.

“You have to sign a waiver, but that is not something that we would release,” Bowman said. “We also take steps to ensure that any personal information on a prescription is disposed of.”

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