Investigating Research Gaps of Pharmaceutical take back Events: An Analysis of take back Program Participants' Socioeconomic, Demographic, and Geographic Characteristics and the Public Health Benefits of take back Programs. Academic Article uri icon


  • Research continues to show that pharmaceutical environmental contamination causes adverse effects to aquatic life. There are also public health risks associated with pharmaceuticals because in-home reserves of medications provide opportunities for accidental poisoning and intentional medication abuse. Pharmaceutical take back programs have been seen as a potential remedy for these issues; however, a thorough review of past programs indicates limited research has been conducted on take back programs. Furthermore, there are significant gaps in take back program research. To address these gaps and ultimately determine if take back programs could improve public health, research was conducted in conjunction with the take back program Denton drug disposal days held in Denton, Texas. Socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of Denton drug disposal days participants were investigated using surveys and Geographic Information Systems. Potential impacts of the Denton drug disposal days program on public health were determined by comparing data from Denton drug disposal days events with data supplied by the North Texas Poison Center. Results suggest that Denton drug disposal days events may have prevented accidental poisonings or intentional abuse, however only qualitative comparisons support this statement and there was insufficient empirical evidence to support the conclusion that Denton drug disposal days events were exclusively responsible for public health improvements. An interesting finding was that there was a definitive travel threshold that influenced participation in Denton drug disposal days events. Overall, this study fills some geographic, socioeconomic, and demographic data gaps of take back programs and proposes methods to analyze and improve participation in future take back programs. These methods could also be applied to improve participation in other local environmentally-focused programs such as household hazardous collection events.

published proceedings

  • Environ Manage

author list (cited authors)

  • Stoddard, K. I., Hodge, V., Maxey, G., Tiwari, C., Cready, C., & Huggett, D. B.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Stoddard, KI||Hodge, V||Maxey, G||Tiwari, C||Cready, C||Huggett, DB

publication date

  • January 2017