KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Metro Drug Coalition and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office will hold an Aging Adult Resource Fair on Saturday, Oct. 22.
The resource fair is at Beaver Dam Baptist Church in Halls from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and will include community resources from vendors around the Knoxville area, free shredding and an opportunity to safely dispose of any unwanted medications, including syringes and sharps, according to a release.
Metro Drug Coalition said from 2000-2018, Knox County saw a 59% increase in the senior population, and currently has approximately 145,000 citizens over the age of 50. This event is an opportunity to connect them with the services available to them to help combat problems often faced by aging adults, including financial, social, emotional, and medical challenges, according to MDC.
Additionally, the 2021 Drug Related Death Report showed people over the age of 55 saw the sharpest increase in drug-related deaths in Knox County, including a 150% increase in those over the age of 75, suggesting that proper disposal of medications is more important now than ever, according to a release from MDC. The take back portion of the event will prevent accidental ingestion of both household and prescription medication, as well as lower the chances of substance misuse.
“This event is important because it enables aging adults and their loved ones to access numerous resources in our community in one stop,” Metro Drug Coalition Coalition Coordinator Misty McPhetridge said. “Our hope is that attendees will leave more knowledgeable, confident, and prepared for the years to come.”
Metro Drug Coalition partnered with the Knoxville Police Department on Oct. 8 for the DEA National Take Back event and collected 358 pounds of unwanted medications, according to the release.
MDC said the medication take back portion of the Aging Adult Resource Fair is open to those who may have missed the last event and need to safely dispose of unwanted medications to reduce chances of accidental ingestion, substance misuse and environmental harm.