How to participate locally to dispose of your prescription drugs in Tennessee

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Posted at 3:42 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 20:21:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Multiple agencies are partnering together to encourage participation Saturday in the National Drug Take-Back Day program.

Across the state, there will be several events to safely and securely dispose of medications that are expired or no longer needed.

During the October 2021 Take Day, Tennesseans safely and securely disposed of nearly 17,000 pounds of medications at 112 sites across the state.

In the decade that the Drug Enforcement Agency has organized Take Back Day, Tennesseans have safely and securely disposed of more than 330,000 pounds of medications.

Take Back Day is this Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time.

In Nashville, the state is partnering with the Nashville Predators.

Medicine can be dropped off at the Ford Ice Centers in Bellevue and Antioch.

They can also be disposed of at an event at the Bon Jovi concert at Bridgestone Arena starting at 6 p.m.

Those who are recovering from opioid addiction said events like these are important because too often unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands.

"For kids to the number one place they find they find prescription pills to abuse as a mom and dads and grandma's medicine cabinets. So we want to get rid of those who want those to go in the box and be the stuff disposed of properly," said Jeremy Reese, regional overdose specialist with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Reese says a back injury not only landed him in the hospital but also with a decades-long opioid addiction.

"It's a disease and it's pretty uncontrollable until you have the right tools," Reese said.

Reese finally got cleaned and has been in recovery for 8 years.

He now works for the state as a regional overdose specialist — teaching people how to use Narcan the same medicine that saved his life five times.

This Saturday he'll be helping more people at the Take Back-Day events.

"We don’t want it in our water table. We don't want you flushing them or throwing them away. Kids can find them in the trash, especially the heavy-duty narcotics people die on," Reese said.

In addition to collecting prescription medications, Tennessee’s Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions are holding informational events to share information about overdose reversal, strategies for parents, and details on connecting to addiction treatment. You can connect with the coalition that serves your area at this link.

If you can't make the event you can always dispose of unused medications in a dropbox at most police stations and drug stores.