Keeping drugs out of the hands of children and addicts while helping the environment at the same time – those are the goals of drug take-back events.
Wilson County residents will have two opportunities to clear their homes of unwanted, expired medications as two local groups plan drug take back events Saturday.
The Lebanon Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its sixth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
The public can bring medications for disposal to Walgreen's on South Cumberland Street in Lebanon. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.
"It's very important to dispose of drugs properly," said Police chief Scott Bowen. "The biggest threat we see is prescription drugs, whether it's pill mills or family members stealing medicine – we get a lot of calls about that."
Bowen also said improper disposal of drugs via the toilet or sink can have a negative impact on the environment by contaminating water supplies.
At the same time, the Wilson County Community Partnership, Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and Crye Leike Realty are holding a drug take back event, as well. This one is also planned for Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Crye Leike Realty at 1432 West Main St. in Lebanon.
Organizers are asking the public to bring unwanted, unused prescription and non-prescription drugs for quick and easy dropoff and disposal.
DEA officials said last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at more than 5,200 sites nationwide operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its five previous take-back events, the DEA and its partners took in more than 2 million pounds — more than 1,000 tons — of pills.
"These take-back events are for anyone asking 'what will I do with it?' when it comes to disposing of drugs," Bowen said. "It's very easy to do at a drug take back. We take the drugs and dispose of them properly, no questions asked."