The Bi-Annual National Drug Take Back will be held this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 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.
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. Through these efforts we are not only helping protect our water sources but also our community from the consequences of drug abuse,” 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 over 10 years ago by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. According to the DEA, medicines left in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse
“Overdose rates have increased significantly during the pandemic,” said Camilla Bibbs, executive director of the Hamilton County Coalition. “We encourage residents to take advantage of the Drug Take Back to remove temptations in the home and help reduce opportunities that could lead to overdose.”
Sites are located in Hamilton, Rhea, Sequatchie, Marion, Bradley and McMinn Counties. Two sites in Hamilton County – Mt. Canaan Church on Highway 58 and Walgreens on Gunbarrel Road – will offer free shredding of personal documents containing confidential information such as medical or tax records. For a complete list of sites, visit the Hamilton County Coalition’s website, hccoalition.org