To help reduce the number of teens and adults who are abusing prescription medicine, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day – when thousands of pounds of unused and potentially addictive medications and other substances are removed from homes around the United States – will be Saturday.
Locally, a take-back location will be set up from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Crye Leike Realtors at 1432 W. Main St. in Lebanon.
Lebanon police will also participate in the seventh National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen said any unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs may be dropped off Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Walgreen’s on S. Cumberland Street with no questions asked.
“This service is free and anonymous, and is a great way for people to safely dispose of old medications,” Bowen said. “It is unsafe for those medications to be flushed, as it can contaminate your drinking water. The unintended use of prescription drugs is the biggest problem facing law enforcement and continues to be a growing epidemic. People can feel free to remove the labels from their bottles if they prefer, however, all medication that is dropped off will go directly to an incinerator. Please do not bring needles or syringes.”
The event is held twice each year and helps raise awareness of the permanent prescription-drug-disposal boxes that have been established around the nation. Currently, there are 82 permanent prescription drug disposal boxes at law enforcement facilities in 47 counties across Tennessee.
Law enforcement professionals recommend the use of these permanent boxes throughout the year to reduce the possibility of theft and accidental overdose. In Wilson County, a permanent box is set up at the Mt. Juliet Police Department at 2425 N. Mt. Juliet Road and is available at all times.
“The importance of removing unused medications from homes cannot be overemphasized,” said state mental health Commissioner E. Douglas Varney. “More than 1,000 Tennesseans die yearly from drug overdoses, and many of them could be prevented if prescription medication was disposed of properly.”
Organizers estimate that more than 6,000 pounds of medication will be collected during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events around Tennessee.
For information about the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, go to deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html. For information about the TDMHSAS substance abuse prevention effort around the state, go to tn.gov/mental/A&D/A_D_preventionServ.shtml or contact Michael Rabkin at 615-532-6597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.