18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Set for Saturday

Tennesseans have opportunity to prevent addiction

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Tennesseans have a life-saving opportunity to prevent addiction in their homes and communities by participating in the 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, this Saturday, October 26 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Organized nationally by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Take Back Day is a time when community groups and law enforcement agencies partner to collect prescription medications that are expired or no longer needed.  During the last Take Back Day, 113 law enforcement agencies partnered with local groups to host 140 take back sites across Tennessee.

Find a participating location in your area

According to national research, about two-thirds of people who misuse or abuse prescription medications obtain them from family or friends.  Prescription drug take back events remove these potentially addictive substances from homes and communities and prevent addiction from happening.

In the last two National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events in October 2018 and April 2018, Tennesseans turned in more than 55,000 pounds of medications.

“We are so encouraged by the efforts of Tennesseans to clean out their medicine cabinets, and remove opioids and other medications from their homes,” said Marie Williams, LCSW, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS).  “With the new prescribing practices enacted in 2018, we’re seeing a reduction in the number of opioid pills prescribed, but we know there are still a lot of people who have medicine that’s either expired or unwanted that needs to be disposed.”

In Jefferson County, Rescue 180, the county’s anti-drug coalition, is teaming up with the Jefferson County Sheriff Department and the DEA to collect prescription medications and vaping devices at the Food City in Dandridge.

According to Rev. Debra Shultz, Executive Director of Rescue 180, “Additionally, for the first time, DEA will now accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop off locations during the Take Back Day.  It is important to note that DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium ion batteries.  If batteries cannot be removed prior to drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium ion batteries.

“Many concerns have been raised lately across the United States over illnesses and death caused by vaping and the high youth vaping initiation rates.  In an effort to support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially amongst Americas’ youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances.”

For people unable to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are more than 330 permanent drop boxes in locations across the state.  Find a permanent drop box using this map.

If you or a loved one needs treatment for addiction, you can call or text the TN REDLINE at 800-889-9789 for a confidential referral.