The University of Richmond Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will collect outdated or unneeded prescription drugs April 26 at Tyler Haynes Commons, second floor, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

The event allows people to safely rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. According to the DEA, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses that can result from medicines languishing in home medicine cabinets.

The initiative addresses an important public safety and health issue. The usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards, said Beth Simonds, URPD assistant chief. 

Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons of prescription drugs at more than 4,000 sites operated by DEA and its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with collections from seven previous take-back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 1,700 tons of pills. 

The program accepts only pills and patches. The service is free, anonymous and open to the public. For more information, contact University Police at 804-289-8715.