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Students Help Take Expired Drugs Off the Streets

VUSN Student Heather Whaley/Photo by Carrie Plummer

Thousands of prescription pills were safely disposed of at a recent Dickson County drug disposal event, thanks to the combined efforts of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty and students, the Dickson Police Department, Lipscomb College of Pharmacy students, the Hamblin County Anti-Drug Coalition and other community pharmacists.

A steady stream of people from Dickson, Hickman, Davidson and Humphreys counties brought their expired and unused prescription drugs to the drop-off point in the Dickson Kroger parking lot, including the pill bottles for incineration that VUSN student Heather Whaley is holding above.

At the end of the four-hour event, 41,577 pills were collected and destroyed, including 1,968 tablets of controlled substances such as painkillers, benzodiazepines, ADD medications, and sleeping pills with an estimated street value of approximately $5,655.

“One gentleman literally brought enough medications to fill an entire shopping cart full – all by himself,” said Carrie Plummer, M.S.N., instructor of Nursing/Adult and Geriatric Nurse   Practitioner Program at VUSN. “Feedback from the community was overwhelmingly positive with many people asking when the next event was planned.”

Organizers did not ask participants questions about the drugs they brought to the event, and instead focused on using this as a way to help get prescription drugs off the streets and out of the schools as well as get rid of expired medications that can be toxic if taken after the expiration date.

Thousands of prescription pills were safely disposed of at a recent Dickson County drug disposal event, thanks to the combined efforts of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty and students, the Dickson Police Department, Lipscomb College of Pharmacy students, the Hamblin County Anti-Drug Coalition and other community pharmacists.A steady stream of people from Dickson, Hickman, Davidson and Humphreys counties brought their expired and unused prescription drugs to the drop-off point in the Dickson Kroger parking lot, including the pill bottles for incineration that VUSN student Heather Whaley is holding above.At the end of the four-hour event, 41,577 pills were collected and destroyed, including 1,968 tablets of controlled substances such as painkillers, benzodiazepines, ADD medications, and sleeping pills with an estimated street value of approximately $5,655. “One gentleman literally brought enough medications to fill an entire shopping cart full – all by himself,” said Carrie Plummer, M.S.N., instructor of Nursing/Adult and Geriatric Nurse   Practitioner Program at VUSN. “Feedback from the community was overwhelmingly positive with many people asking when the next event was planned.”Organizers did not ask participants questions about the drugs they brought to the event, and instead focused on using this as a way to help get prescription drugs off the streets and out of the schools as well as get rid of expired medications that can be toxic if taken after the expiration date.



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