TDMHSAS Encourages Tennesseans to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Biannual opportunity for all Tennesseans to prevent substance misuse
Wednesday, October 25, 2023 | 08:37am

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is encouraging all Tennesseans to look at the prescription medications in their homes and prepare to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration to encourage the safe and secure disposal of potentially addictive and otherwise harmful prescription medications.  In Tennessee, community groups including the state’s Substance Use Prevention Coalitions team up with local law enforcement and other partners to host Take Back Day events.  The events serve to collect thousands of pounds of medications while also providing opportunities to start conversations about preventing substance misuse and addiction.

Find a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event near you at

“It couldn’t be easier to safely and securely dispose of the expired or unneeded prescription medications in your home.  Just collect the medications you’re ready to dispose, bring them to an event, and drop them off—no questions asked,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.  “By reducing the supply of potentially addictive medications and addressing the misuse of prescription pills before it starts, we’re hopeful we can prevent deaths from substance use including fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription pills.

“Many people don’t realize it, but theft from medicine cabinets of family and friends is one of the most common and preventable forms of drug diversion,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “This weekend’s event is a great opportunity for Tennesseans to take advantage of the numerous locations across the state to safely dispose of unwanted or expired household pharmaceuticals.”

“Prescription drugs that are not disposed of properly can end up in our waterways, so DEA Take Back Day can have a positive effect both in terms of health and the environment,” said Commissioner David Salyers of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). “This program helps in many ways, and TDEC is proud to be part of it.”

In the last National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in April of this year, agencies collected more than 8,200 pounds of medications at more than 120 locations across Tennessee.  Since the start of Take Back Day, Tennesseans have safely and securely disposed of more than 350,000 pounds of medications.

Tennesseans who miss out on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day can still safely and securely dispose their medications at one of 383 permanent drug drop boxes across the state.  These drop boxes are located in many pharmacies, police precincts, and sheriff’s offices.  Find a permanent drug drop box near you at this link: