A drug take-back drive Saturday by the Sevierville Police Department resulted in the return of almost 32 pounds of unwanted medications, according to the city of Sevierville.
This year, people have turned in 578 pounds of drugs to the department on special drug collection days and at a drop-off bin, according to the city.
The department accepts loose pills and powders, liquid medicines in sealed packages and sealed drugs and aids such as diabetic supplies. It does not take syringes or "other types of drug paraphernalia."
Saturday's event in Sevierville was part of the National Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Take Back, which started in 2010. Figures about this weekend's national collection were unavailable.
In May, a national take-back day brought in some 893,498 pounds of discarded medication. That's about 447 tons.
The leading states from the spring event: Texas, almost 40 tons; California, 32 tons; Wisconsin, 31 tons; Illinois, 24 tons; and Massachusetts, 24 tons, according to the DEA.
The Sevierville Police Department makes available a drop-off receptacle for the public seven days a week in its lobby, where authorities say they're averaging about 38 pounds a month in collections. The department is on Gary Wade Boulevard.
The collection aims to keep unwanted or discarded medicines away from people who shouldn't be taking them, including children. It also helps prevent dumping medication into the public water system.