The Bi-Annual National Drug Take Back will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The event provides residents the opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted medications. Residents may simply drive to a Drug Take Back location, where a law enforcement or volunteer wearing masks will take the medications for proper disposal.
The service, which is free and anonymous, helps to prevent misuse and abuse of medications while protecting local water sources, officials said.
Collected medications are incinerated, which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended approach for pharmaceutical disposal. Flushing medications down the toilet and throwing them in the trash are discouraged.
“It’s important for us to keep these items out of landfills and water supplies, as well as the hands of those who may misuse or abuse them. Through these efforts, we can help protect what is most precious – our youth and our water,” said Kitty Vaughn, Tennessee American Water supervisor of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance.
Tennessee American Water has been a partner of the National Drug Take Back Day since it was launched 10 years ago by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The 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.
“According to the DEA, medicines left in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse,” said Camilla Bibbs, executive director of the Hamilton County Coalition. “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.”
Area sites include 14 Hamilton County area locations as well as sites in Marion, Rhea, Meigs and Sequatchie Counties. The Mt. Canaan Baptist Church and East Brainerd Walgreens locations will also have free shredding available for personal documents. Residents can visit the Hamilton County Coalition website, hccoalition.org/rx-drug-take-back-events
, to find a location convenient to them.