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The UCF Police Department and Student Health Services teamed up Thursday to host the Prescription Drug Take Back event, in which they collected more pounds of pharmaceutical drugs this year than last.

"We took in just over 75.5 pounds of drugs yesterday at the Take Back event," UCF PD officer Peter Stephens said. "Last year we took in around 60 pounds, if I remember correctly."

The free, anonymous service, which aims to prevent pill abuse, provides members of the UCF community with an opportunity to hand over any unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs, no questions asked.

Although UCF doesn't track the exact types of drugs turned in, pharmaceuticals such as pills, inhales, ointment and even pet medication are accepted.

The location differed this year and was held in the Student Union rather than the Breezeway, which Stephens said played a helpful role in the event.

"In previous years, we were in the John T. Washington Center Breezeway and I don't think that gets quite as much foot traffic as the Union so I was very happy with the turnout," he said.

The campus event leads to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's national Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday.

In the previous nationwide Take Back Day events, 2,411 tons of drugs were collected from 2010 to 2014, according to a release.

UCF PD has also been emptying kiosk stations at the Union and the Heath Center and plan to turn over a total of 180 pounds of prescription drugs.

"We did our last turn over in April to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, which was taking a load to the incinerator in Jacksonville and we were able to piggy back on their shipment," Stephens said.

Since April, UCF PD's collections have been 104 pounds, which will be turned over to the DEA for destruction on Monday.

To learn more on Prescription Drug Take Back Day and its initiative, visit the DEA website.

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Marina Guerges is the Editor-in-Chief at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @marinaguerges or email her at MarinaG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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