Tennessee American Water is partnering with law enforcement agencies, community organizations and other government agencies to promote a community Drug Take Back on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The purpose of this event is to keep drugs out of the environment and off of streets. Two of the locations will also include document shredders provided by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Division of Consumer Affairs.
Local residents are encouraged to drive up and drop off their old medications – prescriptions or over-the-counter -- for proper disposal at one of the 15 area locations in Hamilton, Bradley or Sequatchie Counties. Walgreens in East Brainerd and Mt. Canaan Baptist Church will have document shredders available for personal documents such as tax information or medical records:
Locations in Hamilton, Bradley and Sequatchie Counties:
Walgreens in East Brainerd - 2289 Gunbarrel Road
Mt. Canaan Baptist Church – 4801 Hwy. 58
Walgreens in Hixson - 5478 TN Highway 153
Walgreens in East Ridge - 5301 Ringgold Road
Walgreens in Brainerd - 3605 Brainerd Road
Walgreens in Ooltewah - 9307 County Highway
Walgreens in Soddy Daisy – 121 Harrison Lane
Walgreens in St. Elmo – 3550 Broad Street
Walgreens in Northshore – 110 North Market Street
Walgreens in Dunlap – 14857 Rankin Avenue
Walgreens in Cleveland – 35 25th Street NW
Other Community Sites
Elk’s Lodge #91 – 1069 Graysville Road
First Baptist Church – 506 East 8th Street
Food City in Red Bank - 3901 Dayton Boulevard
Orchard Knob Baptist Church – 1734 E. 3rd Street
Signal Mountain Police Department -1111 Ridgeway Avenue
The program has positive community and environmental benefits. Having unused or expired medications in the home can lead to medication errors, accidental overdoses, or inappropriate use/abuse. In a well-intentioned effort to avoid these problems, many people flush unwanted medications down the toilet as a means of disposal. However, flushing medications means that traces of these drugs eventually end up back in the environment, said officials.
“Experience shows that the most effective and cost-efficient way to ensure high-quality water at the tap is to keep our source waters clean," said Kitty Vaughn, Tennessee American Water supervisor of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance. "We support this partnership because it helps spread an important message to the public: Don't flush medications down the toilet, where they would eventually end up in our waterways.”
The local Drug Take Back program offers citizens a chance to safely and conveniently dispose of unwanted, unused prescription or over-the-counter drugs (for both pets and people) and avoid misuse or unintentional harm to families, pets and the environment.
“Properly disposing of medication reduces the chance of teenage experimentation and overdose. We encourage residents to take advantage of the drug take back day by simply driving to one of the locations and dropping off medication with no questions asked,” said Camilla Bibbs, executive director of the Hamilton County Coalition.
Along with Tennessee American Water and the Hamilton County Coalition, other partners with the Drug Take Back are:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
Count It! Lock It! Drop It!
City of Chattanooga Police Department
City of Chattanooga Youth & Family Development
Drug Enforcement Administration
East Ridge Police Department
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Organization
Red Bank Police Department
Signal Mountain Police Department
Soddy Daisy Police Department
Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s Division of Consumer Affairs
Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation