It's not every day that the Drug Enforcement Administration makes a visit to campus. And it's certainly not every day that it finds nearly 100 pounds of drugs on campus.
But on Sept. 24, it was that day.
UCF held its fifth drug take-back event at the John T. Washington Center — also known as the Breezeway — and collected heaps of drugs that students needed to get rid of. The event was held a few days before the DEA's Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Sept. 27 to allow students an opportunity to drop off unwanted drugs, no questions asked.
The event collected 23.5 pounds of drugs from the Breezeway station this year, and a total of 99 pounds was collected overall. The DEA picked up these items and incinerated them.
The UCF event is used to raise awareness of the resources available to students for proper disposal of medications, said UCF Police Officer Peter Stephens. Disposing of unwanted medicines is the safest way to avoid misuse and abuse.
"I was on campus getting Chick-Fil-A and noticed the event and asked what it was all about. I'm in the Health Services building a lot to get my prescriptions and now that I know about the drop-boxes, I can bring my old thyroid medication that I never ended up using" said Christina Dearth, a senior health services administration major.
Students who were not able to attend the event were redirected to the permanent drop-boxes. At least 15 people who came to the event had forgotten medications but wanted to turn in items, along with a professor who called and could not attend the event, Stephens said.
There are permanent drop-off boxes to collect unwanted pills and patches available on the first floor of the Student Union and inside the UCF Pharmacy at the Health Center. Pills, inhalers, liquids, ointments and pet medication are all acceptable for drop-off.
Items collected in the drop-box are completely confidential, stored by UCF Police and kept until the next DEA scheduled pick-up.