Baker now site of non-governmental prescription drug collection box

John Joseph, Baker College of Flint campus safety director, with the pill collection box.

John Joseph, Baker College of Flint campus safety director, with the pill collection box.

FLINT TWP. — Thanks to the help from the Flint Township Police Department and Genesee Health System (GHS), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has authorized the campus safety office at Baker College of Flint as a prescription drug collection box site, according to a press release.

It is the first non-police, Genesee County organization to receive this designation and will be open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This collection box provides a convenient location for students, staff, faculty and area neighbors to properly dispose of unwanted and expired prescription pills. Only pills will be accepted but no liquids, patches or needles.

John Joseph, Baker College of Flint campus safety director, credits GHS and Flint Township Police for making the opportunity available to Baker College.

Joseph responded to a call from GHS to increase the permanent collection boxes at police departments within Genesee County. The GHS initiative is intended to help limit access to nonmedical use of prescription drugs.

Because the Baker College campus safety office is not a police agency, the Flint Township Police Department offered to partner with the Flint campus to qualify for the DEA designation. The police department is charged with disposing of the collected medications.

GHS provided the steel collection box – free of charge – to Baker College, thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health Office of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care.

“It made sense to support the Genesee Health Systems initiative,” Joseph said. “Once prescription drugs have served their purpose, there is a need for a method of proper disposal. As a retired sergeant with the Flint Police Department, I have seen a great deal of prescription drug abuse.

“Baker College is a convenient location to the approximately 4,000 students, faculty and staff who are on our campus daily. The public is welcome to dispose of their pharmaceutical pills, too.”

Wen Hemingway, Baker College of Flint president, noted that the on-campus disposal opportunity is an especially good example for the nearly one-half of undergraduate students on the Flint campus who are enrolled in health sciences programs. And, because it will reduce the amount of medications entering the water supply through improper disposal methods, it is also in alignment with the Baker College water quality management program that began fall 2014.

For more information about the prescription drug collection box located at Baker College of Flint, contact the campus safety office at 810-766-4223.

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