The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will hold a drug take-back initiative Saturday for anyone who wants to dispose of unwanted and/or expired prescription and non-prescription drugs.
The event will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at a drop-off location at the courthouse next to the sheriff’s office at 105 E. High St. in Lebanon.
Medications used for legitimate reasons are often subject to theft, and can lead to addiction and ultimately even drug trafficking, according to Sheriff Robert Bryan. He said there is a national epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is often the motive in numerous crimes.
“We appreciate cooperative efforts such as this one,” Bryan said. “We are happy to be able to provide a place where you safely and conveniently dispose of such medicines when they are no longer needed or wanted.”
Anyone who would like to drop off medication or drugs, prescription or other, may drop it off at Saturday’s event with no questions asked. No syringes or inhalers will be accepted, whether new or used.
Lebanon police will also hold a drug take-back event Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Fred’s Pharmacy at 230 E. Gay St. in Lebanon.
Law enforcement agencies, anti-drug coalitions and community leaders across the state will partner for the special event to help people safely dispose of their unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications. The initiative draws attention to the yearlong effort to ensure medications, especially addictive opiates and painkillers, don’t fall into the wrong hands.
“When teenagers experiment with prescription pills, they’re not usually going to a drug dealer on the street. They’re often going to the medicine cabinet and taking an old prescription that a doctor wrote for mom or dad,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams. “Taking simple steps to properly dispose of medications and keep them out of the wrong hands is something we all can do to combat the problem of drug addiction in Tennessee.”
In recent years, Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly have supported TDMHSAS efforts to prioritize funding to increase the number of permanent drug take back boxes across the state. Thanks to the effort, there are now 230 locations across Tennessee, including at the Mt. Juliet Police Department, where people can dispose of prescription medications.
During the national drug take back event in April, Americans turned in about 900,000 pounds of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous take back events, DEA and its partners collected more than 8.1 million pounds of pills.
For more information on the permanent drug take-back boxes across Tennessee, visit tn.gov/behavioral-health/article/Prescription-Drug-Take-Back-Boxes.