NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation joins the Drug Enforcement Administration for a program this Saturday that gives Tennesseans a chance to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription pills. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 30, residents can drop off pills or patches to be disposed of at locations all across the state. The service is free and anonymous. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps.
Last September, people across the country turned in 350 tons of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. TBI offices in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville are among the locations available for pill drop-off this Saturday. The DEA’s website also provides information on drop-off sites by zip codes at http://www.dea.gov/index.shtml.
The prescription drop-off event also serves as the kick-off of a new permanent prescription drug take-back initiative. The Tennessee Household Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program is a partnership of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the TBI Dangerous Drug Task Force, and private companies. Law enforcement agencies in all 95 counties across Tennessee will have boxes at their offices available for residents to drop off waste pharmaceuticals from their homes. This program, which is part of the Governor’s Public Safety Act, provides an option to residents other than disposal in the sewer or landfill. The TBI will utilize the existing Dangerous Drugs Task Force incident response vehicles placed throughout the state to collect and maintain possession of these household waste pharmaceuticals until their safe destruction in a permitted facility.
“We want to encourage residents to help curb prescription drug use and abuse by going through their medicine cabinets and discarding all unused, outdated or unnecessary prescription drugs,” says TBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Farmer. “Environmentally-safe disposal has become a tremendous burden on the resources of our state and local law enforcement. This collaborative program establishes a partnership with government and private entities that share the responsibilities while enhancing the success and sustainability for a healthier and safer state.”