Baylor Police Department Will Participate in National Drug Take-Back Day to Encourage a Safe Environment

October 23, 2019

Media Contact: Eric Eckert, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-1964

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by Cerenity Austin, student newswriter, Baylor University Media and Public Relations

WACO, Texas (Oct. 23, 2019) —The Baylor University Police Department (BUPD) will collect old and expired prescription drugs as part of a National Take-Back Day Saturday, Oct. 26. Although the official collection day is on Saturday, BUPD began accepting prescription drugs on Monday, Oct. 21.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Take-Back Day is a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. The take-back day will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday at BUPD in Speight Avenue Parking Garage, 1521 S. Fourth St.

“In the past, one of the options was to bury your prescription medications, and some people would even flush them down the toilet,” said BUPD Crime Prevention Specialist Scott Curry. “Either way, these medications get into the runoff waste water and contaminates freshwater sources.”

In a 2018 study, Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies, and director of the environmental health science program, reported an increase in the risk of fish exposed to prescription psychological drugs.

Brooks also referenced a similar research study, which found that common household prescription medications, such as antidepressants, can have adverse effects on the behavior of freshwater fish populations.

To decrease the environmental impact that prescription drugs have on freshwater streams, BUPD allows anyone from the Waco community to dispose of their unused medications during this week every semester. Last April, BUPD collected approximately 120 pounds of old prescription medications and plans on topping that number this year.

The goal of the drug take-back week is to make proper disposal of old prescription medications convenient for the community. BUPD works alongside the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center (BARC) to encourage people to bring in their unused prescription medications to lower the risk of substance abuse.

In April, the 17th national DEA-sponsored drug take-back program collected 937,443 pounds of unused and expired prescription drugs across the country. Texas led the nation with 92,511 pounds, and California was second with 68,308 pounds.

The prescription drugs will be collected in a locked box by BUPD and delivered to the DEA to be safely incinerated.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.