The City of Sevierville Police Department and Pigeon Forge Police Department will collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription pills and patches as part of the 14th National DEA Drug Take Back Initiative on Saturday.
Citizens may bring pills or patches for disposal to either of two locations in Sevier County on Oct. 28, 2017. The Drug Enforcement Administration cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps. All drugs collected are destroyed and any plastics received are recycled. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Sevierville police officers will be at Walgreens, 119 Forks of the River Parkway, from 10 a.m – 2 p.m. SPD Lieutenant Ken Garner, Office of Emergency Management Director, will be on duty to assist citizens who may have questions.
The Pigeon Forge Police Department, 3225 Rena Street in Pigeon Forge, is accepting drugs for disposal between 10 a.m and 2 p.m.
In its 13 previous Drug Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have collected over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills. At last year’s event over 30,000 pounds of unused, unwanted, and expired medication was collected in the State of Tennessee alone.
In addition to the events on Saturday, citizens may also drop off drugs at the Sevierville Police Department Drug Take Back receptacle any time or day of the week. The service is free and anonymous. The following drugs may be disposed in the receptacle:
- All loose pills and powders.
- Liquid drugs are only accepted in sealed packaging
- Sealed drugs and aids (i.e. diabetic supplies, meters, etc.)
Anyone with questions may contact SPD Lt. Ken Garner at 865-868-1753 or contact Pigeon Forge Police Department, Criminalist Wayne Knight at 865-453-9063.
According to the DEA, many people are unaware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. According to the DEA, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away–both potential safety and health hazards. Municipal water systems are not able to properly filter many medications, which sometimes leads to the presence of medications in tap water. Traces of prescription medications have also been detected in streams and other ground water sources.