MSU Police first university department in state issued both Narcan, medication dropbox

Contact: Harriet Laird

MSU’s Police Department received this medication dropbox safe today [Dec. 4] from the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. Shown with the dropbox, located in the department’s lobby, are, from left, Vance Rice, MSU Police chief; Michael Jordan of the MDMH, and Emmitt Johnson Jr., MSU Police corporal. (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is the first university in the state to have both the opioid antidote Narcan and a medication dropbox safe issued by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.

MSU’s addition of the medication dropbox safe is one way the university is aiding its students, employees and local community in combating the opioid epidemic by providing a safe, secure location for individuals to discard unused or unwanted prescriptions 24 hours per day, seven days a week. It is located in the police department’s front lobby, 25 Walker Road.

MDMH, in partnership with the state’s Bureau of Narcotics and Department of Public Safety, also is providing the life-saving Narcan medication, which blocks or reverses effects of opioid overdoses.

MSU Police Chief Vance Rice said, “We want to do all we can to provide safety for our students and our community. We appreciate the support from the departments of Mental Health and Public Safety, and the Bureau of Narcotics.”

Rice said his department received the Narcan and training on administering the drug in October, with receipt of the medication dropbox safe delivered today [Dec. 4].

MBN Director John Dowdy said, “Mississippi is a leading prescriber of opioid painkillers with the equivalent of approximately 70 pills for every man, woman and child in 2016. Mississippi ranks fifth in the nation for the number of painkiller prescriptions.”

Because opioids have a high street value of as much as $1 per milligram, according to Dowdy, “if someone does not use all of the pills prescribed, regardless of the prescription, those unused pills should be disposed of properly.”

This effort is funded by the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant, as part of the 21st Century Cures Act and is consistent with the recommendations of the Governor’s Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force.

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