Pharmacy Students Collect Unwanted Drugs for Disposal

Students from Concordia University School of Pharmacy and Texas Tech School of Pharmacy recently collected unwanted and expired medications in their respective communities.

Students from Concordia University School of Pharmacy and Texas Tech School of Pharmacy recently collected unwanted and expired medications in their respective communities.

The Concordia students were participating in the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s new awareness campaign to prevent painkiller abuse, according to CBS58.

There has been a 260% increase in overdoses in the state among those ages 12 to 25, the department’s website stated.

The pharmacy students collected both prescription and non-prescription drugs on October 17, 2015. Some of the items they collected dated back to the 1980s.

“This is my fourth or fifth medication collection, and I'm still amazed at what we get from the community and what's left in people’s cabinets,” Robert Wolf, a member of the Concordia Student Pharmacy Association, told CBS58.

The collection will be incinerated by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials in Indiana, according to CBS58.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech School of Pharmacy students also collected unused or expired medications in Abilene, Texas, over the weekend.

The pharmacy students partnered with the Abilene Police Department and Hendrick Medical Center on October 17, 2015, for its “Medication Cleanout Saturday,” KTXS reported.

A good number of the students who participated in the event have a membership with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

“Teens don’t understand that if you misuse prescription drugs you’re still abusing drugs,” APhA Campus Executive Director Alexandria Ybarra told KTXS. “Just because it’s not a street drug doesn’t mean it’s not abuse.”

One of the more common drugs that students abuse is Adderall, APhA member Hayden Stewart told the media outlet.

“Adderall is the second drug of choice for high school students, right after marijuana,” Stewart said. “A teen starts by taking an Adderall to help them study or to get pumped up for a football game on Friday night, [and then] they resort to making unhealthy decisions.”

Ybarra told KTXS that the event gets bigger each year. Last year, the students collected more than 1000 pounds of pills.

She added that the best way for the community to prevent abuse is to monitor their medications at home and make sure to dispose of unwanted medications safely.