KU News Release


April 25, 2011
Contact: Mai Hester, Student Success, 785-864-9500

KU collecting unwanted prescription drugs for disposal April 28 on Wescoe Beach

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LAWRENCE — University of Kansas student organizations and academic departments are partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration to give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Medications will be collected for disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Wescoe Beach on Jayhawk Boulevard. The service is free and anonymous, no questions will be asked. Unwanted prescriptions will also be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at the Douglas County Law Enforcement and Judicial Center, 111 E. 11th St.

Last September, Americans turned in 121 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement locations.

The initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after last fall’s event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the attorney general to accept them. The act also allows the attorney general to authorize long-term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. The DEA has begun drafting regulations to implement the act.

The event is sponsored by the KU Academy of Student Pharmacists, Peer Health Educators, Student Health Advisory Board, Student Health Services and the Office of Public Safety.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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