University Health Services encourages participation in Drug Take-Back Day

April 24, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 27, aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of unused or expired prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Take-Back events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Unused prescription drugs sometimes may get into the wrong hands, especially on a college campus.

According to a college prescription drug study done by Ohio State University "when asked when students began misusing prescription medication, the majority of stimulant users (65 percent) and sedative users (52 percent) began misusing during college. Almost half of pain medication users began misusing during high school (48 percent) and 39 percent began misusing during college. Very few respondents reported beginning to misuse prescription medications in middle school or earlier."

In that same study, they found that the majority of students who misuse prescription drugs reported that they typically obtain prescription drugs from friends. Overall “when looking at misuse among only those who reported ever misusing prescription medication and referring to the previous twelve months, 44.6 percent of respondents reported that they had misused pain medications, 57.9 percent had misused sedatives and 62.9 percent had misused stimulants.”

The DEA’s Take Back events have resulted in proper disposal of unused drugs, which can save lives and protect the environment. In Pennsylvania there were over 35,000 lbs. of prescription drugs collected and over 900,000 lbs. in total during the October 2018 National Take Back.

University Health Services (UHS) encourages students, faculty/staff and community members to participate on April 27, and beyond. While UHS won’t be able to accept drop-offs, see State College/University Park locations below during their regular hours:

Penn State University Police & Public Safety

  • 30 Eisenhower Parking Deck, University Park; 814-865-1864
  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday
  • More information about this site is available here.

State College Police Department

  • 243 South Allen Street, State College; 814-234-7150
  • Open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

Ferguson Township Police Department 

  • 3147 Research Drive, State College; 814-237-1172
  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Thursday; and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday

Patton Township Police Department

  • 100 Patton Plaza, State College; 814-234-0273
  • 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

For other Centre or Mifflin county locations please check UHS’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day site. Please note that there aren’t any locations near the State College/University Park area that are official DEA National Take Back Day drop-off sites; however, the locations above can accept drop-offs year-round. For official DEA National Take Back Day sites, please check their website.

Health Promotion & Wellness, a Student Affairs unit, offers ScreenU to help students identify problematic habits and behaviors, focusing on alcoholmarijuana and prescription drug use. ScreenU is a free and confidential online screening tool available to all Penn State students and can be completed in as little as 2-3 minutes. The tool offers personalized, non-judgmental feedback, and directs students to nearby support resources. 

If you need assistance in finding a treatment provider on campus please call Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at 814-863-0395 to set up a phone screening appointment. For emergencies, please call 911. 


Last Updated September 23, 2020