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National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday

Law enforcement agencies and community partners across East Tennessee are accepting expired or unwanted medications and vapes.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Drug Enforcement Agency is hosting National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 24.

Law enforcement agencies and community partners across East Tennessee are accepting expired or unwanted medications and vapes. The scheduled time at many places is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A full list of Saturday's take back locations can be found on the DEA website.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs, according to a release.

Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop-off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.

The DEA said the take-back day is one way to help curb the country's prescription abuse problem.

Most abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet, according to the DEA.

At the last Take Back Day in October 2020, DEA said it collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs.

Health experts say drug overdoses - from prescription pills as well as opioids such as fentanyl - have been a critical problem in East Tennessee for several years. More than 370 people died from a suspected overdose in 2020 alone in Knox County, figures show. 

Some locations and pharmacies allow you to drop off unwanted medications any day. To find the location nearest you, visit countitlockitdropit.org.

RELATED: 368 deaths in 366 days | Knox Co. district attorney general says area's overdose epidemic is 'getting worse'

2019: Drug take-back boxes offer safe way to dispose of medication

2018: Syringe exchange program opens in Knoxville