Twice a year, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and CU Anschutz participates in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Take Back Initiative where thousands of pounds of medications are disposed of and destroyed. Drug Take-Back Day is meant to raise awareness about the safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, as well as educate the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. This is CU Anschutz's seventh year participating.
“Prescription drug abuse and misuse is a serious problem in Colorado,” said Robert
J. Valuck, PhD, RPh, FNAP, a professor at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Knowing that up to 200 million pounds of filled prescriptions went unused in 2013, the question is where is it going? Is it going down the drain? Or being used by friends or family members to whom it wasn’t prescribed? Both are dangerous options which we want people to avoid. Clearly, we need to do a significant
amount of public awareness and provider education on safe use, safe storage and
safe disposal as a starting point.”
The events, co-sponsored by the University of Colorado Anschutz Police Department are held at the the Anschutz Medical Campus (I-225 and Colfax in Aurora). Once collected, the DEA transports and disposes of the drugs. In addition to the annual take back event, the University Police Department has a permanent drop box in its lobby in Bldg. 407 on the Anschutz Medical Campus, which is available 24/7.
Pharmacists and pharmacy students assist during the take back by answering questions about the medications you are currently taking and distribute the Skaggs School’s
medication tracking card, which can be shared with a patient's health care providers.
The event is supported by the DEA, the University of Colorado Anschutz Police Department, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado Hospital, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Gov. John Hickenlooper, the State Attorney General, and the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
To learn about additional drop off locations, visit the Take Meds Seriously website or the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, or call 800-882-9539 for the location nearest you. The following items cannot be accepted: needles & sharps, mercury (thermometers), oxygen containers, chemotherapy/radioactive substances, pressurized canisters, and illicit drugs.
Download the flyer.