The University of Texas at El Paso will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative as a drop-off site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, in front of the Campbell Building, 1101 N. Campbell St.
Motorists should be in the left-hand lane as they approach the yellow zone in front of the building. Drivers may drop off their unwanted medicines into containers that will be set up along the curb. A UTEP crime prevention specialist and a Drug Enforcement Administration representative will be there to accept the items.
The purpose of this event, organized by the DEA, is to provide convenient locations for residents to dispose of unused or unwanted prescription drugs or expired over-the-counter medicines in a safe way.
“America is currently experiencing an epidemic of addiction overdose and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers,” said Lucy Holcomb, DEA-El Paso Division public information officer. “Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. The majority of prescription drug abusers report that they obtain their drugs from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet. By offering safe and secure options for our citizens to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs, we are reducing the threat that these substances pose to public health.”
UTEP has been involved as a drop-off site since 2007, said Juan Rabelo, University Police crime prevention coordinator. A little more than 74 pounds of unused medication were left at the UTEP drop off site during the last Take Back Day in April 2016.
UTEP was among the more than 5,400 drop-off sites nationally that collected about 447 tons of unwanted prescription drugs. About 3,200 tons of unused medicines have been collected since the program began six years ago, according to the DEA.
Rabelo said that people may remove their personal information from the prescription medication, but that it is not necessary because the boxes of discarded drugs are taped shut at the end of the day and taken to a safe DEA location where the medication is counted and properly disposed.
“We know there is a need so we participate to raise awareness,” Rabelo said. “Take Back Day gives the public a safe alternative to dispose of their unwanted medications.”
For more information visit the DEA Diversion Control Division website.