University police, CADEC host prescription drug take-back

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Shelley Keener, Analyst and Specialist for UPD tapes up the last box of collected prescriptions on Thursday afternoon. Photo credit: Kimberly Morales

While alcohol and marijuana reign as the most popular drugs for students on campus, one substance easily — and often legally — found on campus are prescription drugs.

According to Chico State’s University Police Department (UPD)’s 2019 Annual Security Report, only one case of drug law arrests and 4 drug referrals were issued to students on campus or the residential area during 2018. While the numbers have remained low in the most recent year, the numbers have grown to 22 arrests and 1 referral, according to a similar security report only one year before.

The battle to keep students and other citizens from lost, stolen or misused prescriptions can be complex, but organizations on campus have turned to working together to make Chico State a safer environment.

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Chico State Police and CADEC were located together on campus Thursday morning, properly disposing lost, expired, or unused medication. Photo credit: Kimberly Morales
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Over 4 boxes of prescription drugs were collected on Thursday from 43 participants. Photo credit: Kimberly Morales

On Thursday morning, staff from the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center (CADEC) and UPD collaborated to hold a “Prescription Drug Take-Back,” aiming to ensure that prescription and over-the-counter medications were properly disposed of.

Standing in the roundabout between the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the Arts and Humanities building, this resource was open to participants including students, staff and faculty or the community to hand off their medicine properly, with no questions asked.

“We partner with other agencies on campus,” Shelley Keener, analyst and specialist for UPD, said. “We do know that having unused prescription drugs in your household can not only be a risk to the environment but also to outside people or yourself, including family members and children. We just want to do what we can in order to get rid of unused and expired prescriptions.”

CADEC, a resource on campus which provides education for students to make responsible and informed decisions with substances, has held events such as the “take-back” in the past.

“Last year, (this event) was very popular and we’re hoping the same with this semester,” Priscilla Garcia, a Peer Educator for CADEC, said. “We’re aiming to hold one of these events every semester from now on.”

“We hosted (the Prescription Drug Take-Back event) today because this week is our National Alcohol Awareness Collegiate week. We’ve been tabling all week but we also have other weeks that are each dedicated to one specific substance that is commonly misused.”

By the end of the event, CADEC and UPD had recorded four boxes of disposed prescription drugs, collected from 43 participants.

For more information on drug policies and laws or other programs and services, questions are encouraged to be directed to CADEC, located on the fifth floor of Sutter Hall. More information can also be found on the CADEC website.

Kimberly Morales can be reached at [email protected] or @kimberlymnews on Twitter.