Baylor Police Department Will Participate in National Drug Take-Back Day
Prescription drug disposal helps to keep pharmaceuticals from being abused, affecting water quality
WACO, Texas (Oct. 22, 2018) – The Baylor University Police Department (BUPD) will collect old and expired prescription drugs as part of a national take-back day Saturday, Oct. 27. Although the official collection day is on Saturday, BUPD will begin accepting prescription drugs today, Oct. 22.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Take-Back Day is a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. The take-back day will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at BUPD in Speight Avenue Parking Garage, 1521 S. Fourth St.
“The Baylor Police Department provides our community with a comprehensive array of safety services, and we thought our participation would make it very convenient for our students, faculty and staff to dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs,” said Baylor Police Chief Brad Wigtil. “BUPD wants to assist our community members in disposing of old prescription drugs to help create a safer home environment and prevent the diversion of these drugs.”
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.9 million Americans abused prescription pain relievers. To facilitate the removal of unused and expired prescription drugs year-round, BUPD has a permanent prescription drug disposal box in the police department lobby that is available to the Baylor and Waco communities.
Additionally, in a recent study and subsequent research, Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, and director of the environmental health science program, identified that pharmaceuticals are indicators of an urbanizing water cycle and can be hazardous to the environment and, in the case of antibiotics resulting in antibiotic resistance, public health.
Brooks’ most recent study on pharmaceuticals and environment demonstrates that improper disposal of prescription drugs is a global issue. He and his co-researcher found that “about 54 percent of people (in Hong Kong) will dispose unwanted drugs with normal solid waste” and “three-quarters of the people have unwanted drugs at home, and about 60 percent of it will be wasted.”
“Drug take-back events, like the one here on campus, represent important and effective environmental public health interventions that reduce abuse potential of unused medicines, while diverting chemical waste streams from entering the environment and degrading water quality,” Brooks said.
In April 2018, Texas led the nation in the DEA-sponsored program disposing of 82,978 pounds of expired and unused prescription medications. California was second with 69,883 pounds. Last year, BUPD collected approximately 120 pounds of prescription drugs.
The drugs will be collected in a locked box in BUPD and delivered to the DEA to be safely destroyed.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.