Pescription Safety

By David Ford

Colleges across the country, including Youngstown State University, have created policies that prevent medication from being transferred to those without medical clearance.

In 2010, the University of Maryland conducted a study that found nearly 35.8 percent of all people give a medication to someone else at some point in their lifetime.

According to campus police and residence life, YSU has been successful in preventing the illegal use of prescription medication on and around campus.

Bryan Remias, an administrative lieutenant for the Youngstown State Police Department, said that prescription drugs are allowed as long as the person taking them is given prescription. If someone is found taking them on campus without a prescription to do so, that person faces strict legal issues.

“If someone is taking prescription drugs and they are not written for them, it could be … a violation of the law,” Remias said. “The person could face a misdemeanor up to a felony offense.”

According to YSU police, the rules surrounding residence halls and prescription drug use have been able to create an environment free of any problems and issues.

Molly O’Malley, the Kilcawley, Wick and Weller House coordinator, stated that there are no major issues with prescription drugs in the residence halls, but that the penalties remain strict.

“If a person is found in possession of someone else’s prescription medication, our staff would call the YSU Police Department and they would most likely confiscate it,” O’Malley said. “An official report would be filed with Student Conduct and possibly an official report with the county.”

In 2014, YSU implemented the Prescription DropOff Box, which allows employees and students of the university to safely and securely dispose of any outdated medications, syringes and needles. The box is designed to reduce prescription drugs on campus and throughout the community. The DropOff Box is located at 266 W. Wood St.

Ryan McNicholas, the coordinator for fitness and wellness at Youngstown State University, said that the program has been successful for the university.

“The box is designed to significantly reduce the prescription drugs at YSU or in the community that are either no longer needed or outdated,” McNicholas said. “These same drugs unfortunately have become the target of theft or misuse, oftentimes by people who have access to the residence halls.”

Through this program, YSU has made it possible for the safe and environmentally friendly destruction of controlled substances that might normally get flushed down toilets, tossed into the trash, or even just thrown by the side of the road.

The program for the university has been successful in preventing prescription drugs from becoming a major issue.

Several YSU students stated they use the Prescription DropOff Box to properly dispose of outdated medication. The safe disposal of the contents in these receptacles takes place once a month.