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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Sevierville Police Department Participating in National Drug Take Back Event

Safely dispose of expired and obsolete medications on Saturday at a local Prescription Drug Take Back event.

The Sevierville Police Department is hosting an event on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Drug Take Back Initiative. Officers will be at the CVS Pharmacy, 718 Winfield Dunn Pkwy in Sevierville, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. collecting expired, unneeded, or unwanted prescription drugs from the public. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Types of drugs accepted by the Sevierville Police Department at this event include:

  • All loose pills and powders.
  • Liquid drugs are only accepted in sealed packaging.
  • Sealed drugs and aids (i.e. diabetic supplies, meters, etc.)

The Sevierville Police Department is unable at this time to accept syringes or other types of drug paraphernalia.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused, and abused. While the number of Americans who currently abuse prescription drugs dropped in 2013 to 6.5 million from 6.8 million in 2012, that is still more than double the number of those using heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogens like LSD and Ecstasy combined, according to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In addition, 22,134 Americans died in 2011 from overdoses of prescription medications, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey of users cited above also found that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

This is the fourth year the DEA has been hosting prescription drug take back events. Nearly 4,000 of the agency’s national, tribal and community law enforcement partners will participate in this National Prescription Drug Take Back Day with over 5,200 collection sites across the country.

“The public’s enormous response to DEA’s eight prior National Take Back Days demonstrates its recognition of the need for a way to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs,” the DEA said in a statement. “Last April Americans turned in over 780,000 pounds (390 tons) of prescription drugs. Since its first National Take Back Day in September of 2010, DEA has collected more than 4.1 million pounds (over 2,100 tons) of prescription drugs throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories.”

Prior to launch of these prescription drug take back events, people often flushed the medications down the toilet or threw them in the trash, resulting in contamination of the water supply. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found detectable levels of many medications in tap water, streams and other ground water sources. Septic systems and municipal water treatment systems are unable to filter many medications out of wastewater.

The public should also be aware of a recent scam in Cumberland County involving individuals who allegedly impersonated Red Cross workers and went door to door offering to collect and dispose of unwanted and expired prescription drugs. While the suspects in this case were arrested, the scam could be occurring elsewhere. If you have questions about disposing of prescription medications, contact your local police department.

Not located near Sevierville, TN? Locate a collection site near you here or call 800-882-9539.

The Sevierville Police Department also has a Drug Take Back receptacle where people can drop off  medications any day of the week, 24 hours a day. Contact Lt. Ken Garner of the Sevierville Police Department at (865) 868-1753 with any questions.


About Candice Fitzgibbons

I am a Sevier County resident and active in my local community. I’ve spent more than 20 years as a graphic designer and copywriter, creating marketing materials to help small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations achieve their goals. I have a passion for equality, the environment and animal rights.