The Boston College Police Department (BCPD) participated in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day for the first time on Saturday, providing students and community members a space to dispose of unwanted prescriptions.
“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said BCPD Lt. Jeffrey Postell. “Medicines that languish in cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.”
BCPD placed a receptacle in the lobby of Maloney Hall for community members to drop off pills or patches. Liquids, needles, and sharps were not permitted.
Postell said BCPD received the kiosk last year through a statewide partnership that provides resources to support comprehensive drug stewardship programs. The receptacle will now remain in the lobby year-round to help people dispose of potentially dangerous substances.
“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,” Postell said.
According to BCPD’s statement, this year marks the DEA’s 22nd nationwide event since establishing the buy back days—held every October and April—11 years ago.
“[The] DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, have now collected over 7,900 tons of prescription drugs since the inception of the program,” Postell said.
Postell shared statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to highlight the dangers of prescription misuse. According to the statistics, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments each day for not using prescription opioids as directed.
Unused or expired medications can pose risks to children, family members, and the environment, according to Postell. They can also be misused, often leading to overdose and even death.
“This opportunity provides our community with a discreet, safe, and responsible drug disposal option in an effort to continue helping safeguard our communities,” Postell said.