Kennesaw State dedicates prescription drug drop box for safe medication disposal

  Teresa Wren Johnston, LPC, the founding director of Kennesaw State University’s…

Georgia (Oct 9, 2014) —  

Teresa Wren Johnston, LPC, the founding director of Kennesaw State University’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery (CYAAR), joins with CYAAR Scholarship donor Cathy Letalien, Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, Dean of Student Success Michael Sanseviro, student Michael Polacheck, and Dallas Gay, co-chairman of the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation’s “Think About It” campaign, to dedicate the new prescription drug drop box. 


KENNESAW, Ga.  (Oct. 8, 2014) — Kennesaw State University dedicated a new prescription drug drop box on Oct. 8 to make it easier for individuals to safely dispose of unneeded or unwanted medications. The Medical Association of Georgia Foundation Inc. donated the large metal drop box through its “Think About It: Prevent Rx Drug Abuse” campaign.

The receptacle, which will be emptied daily, resembles a library book drop or postal mailbox. Located inside the KSU Department of Public Safety, it provides a safe, secure and anonymous way to discard legal and illegal drugs any time of the day or night.

“This gives Kennesaw State students, faculty and staff, along with the community, the safest way to dispose of unneeded or unwanted medications,” said Teresa Wren Johnston, LPC, the founding director  of Kennesaw State University’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery (CYAAR). “At any time, someone can bring their medications here to this convenient location and deposit them in this secure, locked drop box.”

Johnston stressed that individuals can leave substances with no questions asked and no potential for criminal prosecution or other sanctions.

“According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), almost one-fourth of full-time college students aged 18 to 22 used illicit drugs,” said Johnston. “SAMHSA’s data also shows that this was similar to the rate among non-college students, so we know it’s important to provide a safe and easy solution to address the situation in our community.”

Besides the safety concerns of old and expired prescription medications being easily accessed in the home, the drop box provides an environmentally safer alternative by keeping drugs out of landfills and water systems.

Cathy Letalien, the mother of a KSU graduate who died last year from a drug-related death, spoke at the dedication and said she appreciated the University’s efforts to combat drug abuse.

“I want to thank Kennesaw State for all it’s doing,” she said. “This will bring awareness to the entire campus. Everyone needs to know and to care. My son Jeremy would have turned 27 this Friday, and I know he’s looking down and smiling right now.”   

In early September, Letalien and her husband Paul presented the Jeremy Leo Letalien Scholarship during the annual CYAAR Celebration of Recovery Scholarship Breakfast. About 120 people attended the event, which recognized 11 students in recovery at KSU. A 5K run in late September attracted almost 250 participants, with proceeds helping to fund programs at Kennesaw State’s Collegiate Recovery Program.

– Robert S. Godlewski 

Photo Credit: David Caselli




KSU Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit