KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Nearly 489 pounds of assorted prescription medicine and 28 pounds of controlled substances were collected for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, according to Knoxville Police.
KPD and Metro Drug Coalition said the collected drugs will be disposed of safely and properly to avoid overdoses and any environmental harm.
Saturday was National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which raises awareness of prescription drug abuse and provides people a safe and easy way to dispose of any unwanted medications sitting in the back of their cabinets.
The Drug Enforcement Administration said the collection event ran on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at several locations in most East Tennessee counties, including law enforcement departments and participating local pharmacies.
The take-back event allowed people to safely dispose of unwanted medications, including tablets, capsules, patches and other solid drugs. You could also dispose of vape cartridges. Locations won't take back liquids, syringes or illegal drugs.
During the last Drug Take Back Day, the DEA said it collected 372 tons of drugs across the country.
“Disposing of unneeded medications can help prevent drugs from being misused,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic record highs. I encourage everyone to dispose of unneeded prescription medications now.”
In the first four months of 2022, the Knox County District Attorney General's Office said 145 people in the county died of a suspected overdose. The DEA said drug overdose deaths were up 16% in the last year, claiming more than 290 lives a day.
According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.
If you are unable to participate in the drug take-back event, more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments and other businesses across the country have year-round drug disposal drop-off receptacles open. You can search for a drop-off location near you at this link.