Students Assist with Door-to-Door Medication Take-Back Effort

Published on 28 April 2017

In the week leading up to National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, St. Louis College of Pharmacy students participated in door-to-door drug take-back events at several senior living facilities around the city of St. Louis.

The College has partnered with the city of St. Louis and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) since the spring of 2011 to increase awareness and participation in medication disposal initiatives. Senior residents received information ahead of the events explaining the importance of properly disposing unused or expired medications. Student pharmacists and DEA agents then went door-to-door to collect the medication.

"By participating in these events, students are able to gain a better understanding of what really happens when patients leave the pharmacy with medications," said Amy Tiemeier, Pharm.D., BCPS, director of community partnerships and associate professor of pharmacy practice. "They also learn the importance of proper medication disposal in our community."

Disposing of medication correctly reduces the risk of accidental poisonings, guards against narcotic pain medications ending up in the wrong hands and keeps medication from getting into streams and rivers, which can harm aquatic wildlife.

"We all can help our families and neighbors by remaining vigilant and properly removing these medications from our houses when no longer necessary," said Tiemeier.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 29, but safe medication disposal is a year-round effort. There are more than three dozen permanent disposal boxes across St. Louis.

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