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Pharmacy Students Help with 'Prescription Drug Take Back' Program

Two ONU pharmacy students and an ONU pharmacy graduate headed a recent prescription drug take back program at Barnesville Hospital, Barnesville, Ohio, south of Canton.

Working in cooperation with the Barnesville Police Department, Kirsten Yoho, a fifth-year ONU pharmacy student from Bethesda, Ohio, Todd (TJ) Tucker, a third-year ONU pharmacy student from Barnesville, Ohio, and Ashley Shumaker, a student at Ohio State University, volunteered to assist with the program in August.

Joseph Jeffries, BSPH ’89, pharmacy director at the hospital, said, “We are thrilled to have been able to offer this program. The take back program helped protect our environment by keeping medications out of the water supply and helped to protect our community by keeping drugs off of the street. We look forward to sponsoring our second Prescription Take Back Program on Oct.8.”

in August more than 36,139 units of drugs and over 450 types of drugs were collected and disposed of safely. Area residents dropped off potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Hospital officials say the program addresses vital public safety and public health issues. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that sit in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.