Drug take-back box serves the public with increased capacity

By Betsy Friauf

Pill Bottle

 

One of the many ways UNT Health Science Center helps create a healthier community is the drug take-back box in the lobby of the Police Department at 3600 Mattison Ave.

Everyone can drop leftover and expired over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs in the box for safe and secure disposal.

The Police Department lobby is staffed 24/7. The department recently installed an incinerator, greatly increasing the amount of drugs that can be disposed of.

Before the incinerator was installed, the box was sometimes unavailable because it rapidly filled to capacity.

“At that time, we could handle only 50 pounds a month, but we averaged that much every five days,” Police Sgt. Timothy Payovich said. “Now that we have the incinerator, we’re handling a much larger capacity.”

When the take-back box was installed three years ago, it was one of four in the city. But the Fort Worth Police Department’s program has been curtailed, meaning more community members are using the UNTHSC box.

If not disposed of properly, cast-off and expired drugs may poison children and the environment or pose an abuse risk.

“Drugs are chemicals that are potentially toxic to humans, wildlife and fish,” said Youcheng Liu, ScD, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. “If accidentally ingested or carelessly discarded, these drugs may have health and environmental consequences. Central collection and appropriate disposal provide a good way of minimizing these impacts.”

The drug take-back is part of the UNTHSC campus’ contribution to the Fort Worth Safe Communities Coalition.

The new incinerator was purchased with a grant from Challenge of Tarrant County, an organization dedicated to confronting substance abuse.

Recent News

2
  • Our People
|May 23, 2024

Empathy-driven leadership: Rylee Miller embarks on her journey to transform rural health care

At the age of 25, Rylee Miller is not just a Master in Health Administration student. Miller embodies the essence of a natural-born leader, driven by empathy and a relentless commitment to making a difference. Standing on the brink of a new chapter in her life, Miller is excited to leave a mark on r...
1
  • Our People
|May 23, 2024

Keeping Black mamas alive: TaKasha Davis Ehiogu is on a mission

TaKasha Davis Ehiogu, a 36-year-old Master in Public Health student, is on a mission to make childbirth safer for Black mothers. Her commitment stems from a deep-seated belief that birth in America should not pose any major risks for women, specifically women within a particular ethnic or socioecono...
  • Our People
|May 23, 2024

SBS grad is ready for success at the next level

When Jordan Easterling decided she wanted to go to medical school, she knew she needed excellent health and science training to help her get there. She found the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Biomedical ...
Ashley Gentry Headshot
  • Our People
|May 22, 2024

Faculty highlight: Ashley Gentry

Ashley Gentry is an associate professor in The University of Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dallas Baptist University and graduated from the HSC Physician Assistant Program in 2012 with a Master of P...