Stony Brook Promotes Proper Disposal of Medication during Pharmaceutical Take Back Day


More than 40 pounds of unused or expired prescription medications were collected at the Student Activities Center Kiosk on Wednesday, October 25, for Pharmaceutical Take Back Day.

The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office, University Police, the Division of Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services, and the CHILL peer education group joined efforts to make Take Back Day a success. 

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office; University Police; Division of Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services; and CHILL peer education group joined efforts to make Take Back Day a success.

This event provided the campus community a safe, convenient and environmentally responsible way to dispose of expired pharmaceuticals and/or excess medications, including over-the-counter medications. Medication past its prime can contaminate landfill soil and the water supply, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Science in 2014. Also, proper disposal removes the potential for accidental exposure or intentional misuse according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The campus-wide collection effort was hosted by the Student Health Advisory Committee and Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services from the Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government.

Members of the campus community, including students and staff, deposited their medication in receptacles provided by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. Ed Eschmann, the Student Health Service Pharmacist, was also present at the event to answer any questions students had related to pharmaceuticals.

“The collection exceeded expectations, and I really appreciate the support we received from the Sheriff’s Office in its collaboration with the Division of Student Health,” said Kathleen Valerio, Health Educator.

The next Pharmaceutical Take Back Day will be next year, but don’t wait to properly dispose of your medication. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office has set up permanent medication drop boxes in the main lobbies of the Riverhead Correctional Facility’s Administration Building as well as in the Civil Bureau in Yaphank. You can also find other safe pharmaceutical disposal locations in Suffolk and Nassau Counties here, sponsored by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.


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