By Evie Shaye Herndon
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, from noon to 2 p.m., Volunteer Community College is hosting Nugs for Drugs.
According to a Vol State email, the event will take place in the Wood Campus Center Building at the Gallatin campus, specifically in the hallway of the Bookstore.
Nugs for Drugs is a program supported by “Vol State Student Engagement, Pioneer Prevention and Campus Police to help prevent and eliminate the opioid epidemic,” said the Coordinator of Student Support, Tiffany Zwart.
“The idea is to collect unused and expired prescription medication, so they are not used beyond their prescribed use. In addition, this helps individuals who don’t know what to do with the medications in their cabinets. It’s not safe to flush them, and it’s not safe to throw them in the trash. This is a safe alternative to the disposal of medications,” said Zwart.
Students can swing by the bookstore and drop off their old medication in exchange for chicken nuggets, a t-shirt and other giveaways such as: a drug lock box to take home, etc.
Student Engagement started the program in 2018 because “Tennessee was one of the hardest hit states when it came to opioid use and overdoses,” said Zwart.
According to the Tennessee State Government website , Tennessee had 1,268 opioid overdose deaths in 2017 and 1,304 opioid overdose deaths in 2018.
It was statistics like that which encourage Vol State Student Engagement to create the program and “it has been extremely successful,” said Zwart. “The last time we had this event we filled up a prescription drug barrel & saw over 100 students, faculty and staff drop their unused prescriptions off.”
According to Zwart, “all medications will be accepted, except for liquid medications” and Student Engagement does “not look at the medication that is dropped off, however, the prescription medication barrel will be in the hallway.”
“This last year has been even more difficult for those struggling with addiction. For anyone who is interested in getting help we have outside programs we can refer our students to. We also have a counseling referral program called the WellPass that allows our students to receive counseling services free of charge to them,” said Zwart.
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