Today is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Published 10:56 am Friday, April 26, 2024

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While today is being celebrated as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, everyday there is an opportunity in Elizabethton to dispose of old and unused drugs.

There are permanent drop-off boxes at the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, Elizabethton Police Department, and Walgreens Pharmacy. Tennesseans safely and securely disposed of more than 57 tons of medications through the permanent drug drop boxes.

Take Back Day is an opportunity for anyone to safely and securely dispose of medications in their home that are either expired or no longer needed. In 2023, Tennesseans disposed of nearly 13,000 pounds of medications across the two Take Back Days in April and October.   

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Chances are good you have prescription medications that you don’t need anymore. Disposal is easy and fast at a Take Back Day event or by taking them by one of the permanent drop-off boxes. With prescription opioids and other medications, there’s risk of misuse and potential addiction. By getting them out of your house, you might prevent years of heartache or even save a life.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Opioid-related deaths aren’t just in the streets and and alleyways of large cities, but rather, opioid death touches the lives of everyone in our community. These numbers are rising as the opioid epidemic continues to affect communities across the country – and Elizabethton is not immune. 

Opioids are often referred to as narcotics and are medications that doctors prescribe to alleviate pain. There are many types of prescribed opioids, such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone and morphine. They are used by people of all ages and walks of life for those suffering from ailments, recovering from an injury or surgery, and needing relief from pain. As we have seen the opioid epidemic sweep across the country, we know opioids can be highly addictive and highly devastating. 

These medications can be even more deadly when they aren’t disposed of properly – as any medications can be. The Drug Take Back event is an opportunity to clean out that medicine cabinet and see what is expired and should be disposed of before possibly getting into the wrong hands. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted that take-back programs are the best way to dispose of unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines safely. 

Opioid addiction and abuse know no bounds to who it affects; addiction does not discriminate, affecting all ages and backgrounds. It is a disease that affects families, friends, neighbors and people we love, and maybe has affected us personally.

Join us in making a positive and long-lasting effect on our community and potentially saving a life by turning in your household prescription medications. There is an opportunity everyday to dispose of drugs properly in our community. Never just toss them in the trash or wash them down the drain…do it the proper way by taking outdated and unused drugs to the sheriff’s department, city police department or to Walgreens Pharmacy on Broad St.