By Thomas E. Engells

The University of Texas Medical Branch Police Department has been actively involved in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative since 2010. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that the previous five take-back events have resulted in more than 2 million pounds of prescription medications taken out of circulation.

Locally, 462 pounds (fall 2011) and 568 pounds (spring 2012) were collected at the UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes in League City.

This year, the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative will occur from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at both the UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes in League City and the UTMB Eye Center, 700 University Blvd., in Galveston.

These events are an easy way to properly dispose of expired and unused prescription drugs. The Food and Drug Administration Guidelines for Disposal of Unused Medicine recommend that people not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so. By disposing of unused and expired prescription drugs at these events you avoid unnecessarily adding drug residue into the water systems. Disposing of unused and expired drugs can reduce medication errors and removes a temptation for some.

This is a great opportunity to safely dispose of these medications.

Thomas E. Engells, UTMB Chief of Police, Galveston