August 16, 2023
College of Pharmacy students will start their school year with an important service to the
community —raising public awareness of safe medication storage and disposal.
During Orientation Week, the College will host Community Connect Days on Tuesday, Aug. 22,
and Thursday, Aug. 24, dispatching pairs of all new and current pharmacy students to
community pharmacies throughout Southeast Michigan.. About 245 participating students will
connect and talk with customers about the importance of keeping unused and unneeded drugs
out of our water supply, landfills, and the wrong hands.
Along with informational materials, students will pass out free supplies to safely store
medications and disposal bags that neutralize unused drugs. Anyone who needs these supplies
can look for students in one of about 35 area Meijer, CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreen’s pharmacy
locations between 3–7 p.m. These Community Connect Days are organized in partnership with
OPEN, the Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network. This network pursues collaborative,
evidence-based approaches to change the trajectory of the opioid epidemic, and one way of
reducing misuse is to remove unused medication from homes. Michigan OPEN is contributing
disposal bags to help get these drugs out of circulation.
Connecting and Serving from the Start
Educating patients about drug safety and interactions is a key role of pharmacists. These
Community Connect Days introduce new P1 students to that role from the very first days of
their program. While providing a valuable service to the community, students are also
demonstrating to the public one of the many ways pharmacists contribute to good health.
The outreach event pairs new P1 students with P2s and P3s in their Pharmacy Phamily,
providing a fun and service-focused way for students to begin to forge supportive connections
across classes.
The College of Pharmacy is grateful to Michigan OPEN and participating pharmacies for this
opportunity for students to connect with and serve the community. Watch our website and
social media feeds for news about future safe drug disposal events.