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Tennesseans Urged To Participate In National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Biannual event organizes safe and secure disposal of potentially-addictive substances
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | 08:13am

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The Departments of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) and Environment and Conservation (TDEC) are urging Tennesseans to do their part to address addiction in Tennessee by participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  The 17th National Take Back Day is this Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To prepare for the take back event, people are encouraged to look at the medicine in their homes, determine what is expired or no longer needed, and take it to a safe disposal site in their community.

Through the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, law enforcement and community groups are organizing special drop off sites across the state.  Participating locations can be found at this link:

Tennesseans can now also search for permanent drug take back boxes in their area using Google Maps. This week, TDEC announced a new partnership with Google to utilize the mapping tool.

“We hear so often from people who want to help address Tennessee’s opioid crisis, and this is an impactful and important way that anyone can get involved.  By safely, securely, and confidentially disposing of opioids and other prescription medications in your home, you can prevent addiction in your home and in your community,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.

During the take back event last October, Tennesseans safely and securely disposed of more than 33,000 pounds of medications at 146 sites statewide.  Since the beginning of the program, Tennesseans have disposed of more than 237,000 pounds of medications.

An additional impact of improper disposal of prescription medication is the effect on the environment.  Flushing medications down a toilet or draining drugs down a sink can allow chemicals to enter streams or groundwater, where they can affect drinking water and stream ecosystems.

“We are so glad to partner with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “The hundreds of drug collection boxes located across the state offer residents a safe and convenient option to dispose of unwanted medications that protects our natural environment.”

If you are unable to participate in a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event, TDMHSAS and TDEC partner with local communities to offer permanent drop boxes.  Many are located at sheriff offices, police precincts, and an increasing number of pharmacies.  You can find a map at this link: