SHU Athletics and Fairfield Police Partner in Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs Saturday, October 26 at Pitt Center

SHU Athletics & Fairfield Police will collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, Saturday October 26th at the Pitt Center.
SHU Athletics & Fairfield Police will collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, Saturday October 26th at the Pitt Center.

On Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Sacred Heart University Department of Athletics and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Pitt Center, located on the SHU Campus at 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield, (sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. 

"In my role as a certified athletic trainer, I work with many student-athletes who are prescribed opioid pain medications following orthopaedic surgeries," said Kaitlyn Marrie, SHU assistant athletic trainer. "The challenge that many of them face is how to safely and securely dispose of those medicines when they are no longer needed. In conjunction with Fairfield Police and SHU Public Safety, we are able to be a small part in the process of combatting the opioid epidemic facing our nation."

Last fall Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11.8 million pounds—approximately 5,900 tons—of pills. 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else's medication being stolen from 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—both pose potential safety and health hazards. 

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 26 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.