April 30, 2018
Students and faculty at the University of New England’s College of Pharmacy joined with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Walgreens Saturday to safely collect and dispose of unused or expired prescription medications.
Pharmacy students and students from the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine participated at three Portland locations: Walgreens Allen Avenue, Walgreens Forest Avenue and the College of Pharmacy on the UNE's Portland Campus.
Unused prescription drugs that collect in our homes can lead to addiction and help fuel Maine’s opioid crisis. Medication Take Back Day is part of UNE’s effort to combat the epidemic.
The event was also a learning experience for students.
“They get to practice interfacing with patients, talking with patients about medications and how to safely use them and dispose of them,” said Karen Houseknecht, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Pharmacy.
Students also tracked the different kinds of medications brought in and the quantities.
“We learn prescribing patterns. What drugs physicians are prescribing more or less of, are they being used, are patients actually taking them or not taking them? That helps us understand how drugs work and how drugs are being used by the public,” said Houseknecht.
At the UNE College of Pharmacy location, 28 community members returned more than 600 prescriptions.
DEA Resident Agent in Charge Michael Wardrop was on hand to gather the medications turned in and make sure they were stored properly. The drugs were incinerated at a location in Portland on Sunday.
Students from UNE’s College of Pharmacy and College of Osteopathic Medicine also took part by providing free blood pressure screenings.
To learn more about the University of New England’s College of Pharmacy, visit www.une.edu/pharmacy
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions