West Virginia University’s Office of Health Promotion and Wellness will host two medication disposal events prior to students’ departure from campus for the holidays.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, the campus community is invited to stop by the Mountainlair near Hatfields to safely dispose of unwanted or expired medications.
A second drop off will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday outside of the Towers residence hall. Residence hall students living on the Evansdale campus can drop off medications at the MedSafe kiosk under the Towers canopy.
“With this medication disposal system, we can safely accept prescription medications, over the counter medications and liquid medication bottles less than 4 ounces,” said Tara Hulsey, vice president of Health Promotion and Wellness.
The group recently purchased metal medication disposal kiosks for easy public access. Amy Sidwell, director of Health Promotion and Wellness, asks that liquid medication be put in a Ziploc bag before being dropped off to prevent any leakage.
Police officers will be stationed at the kiosks to ensure public safety, but the event itself is anonymous. Those dropping off medication simply need to place it in the metal box at the designated locations, and no other action is required.
“These events are opportunities to get rid of medicines so we can keep pills from becoming dangerous over the holiday break,” said University Police Capt. Sherry St. Clair.
In addition to protecting human health, recent studies suggest that flushing medicine down a toilet or drain threatens the health of marine ecosystems.
“Participating in a drug take back program is the best way to ensure an environmentally-safe disposal process,” said Stephanie Toothman, a conservation specialist at WVU.
While the kiosk will be at the Mountainlair on Friday and Towers residence hall on Saturday, the kiosk’s permanent location is in the University Police Department’s lobby at 992 Elmer Prince Dr.
The WVU Police Department is open 24 hours a day, year-round, with free visitor parking.
“Having the kiosk at the Police Department allows the community to dispose of unused medicines when it’s convenient,” Sidwell said.