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Prescription drug take-back event collects more than 1,000 pounds of medication

May 8th, 2014 11:08 am by Nick Shepherd

Prescription drug take-back event collects more than 1,000 pounds of medication

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Half a ton of medications were collected from all around the region during prescription drug take back events held recently.

In all, 1,130 pounds of medications were donated at area take back boxes. Individuals from 332 homes donated expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs to be destroyed. This included people in Bristol, Elizabethon, Johnson City, Jonesborough and Sullivan County.

Local law enforcement participated in the event and are committed to helping residents and families destroy unwanted medication. The effort was also supported by East Tennessee State University's Gatton School of Pharmacy, who's professors and student pharmacists answered questions and studied the motivations and tendencies of donors.

According to Alice McCaffrey, coordinator for the Sullivan County Anti-Drug coalition, donating medication for incineration addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medications which languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Prescription drug addiction has skyrocketed over the last decade. Most people are able to obtain the drugs through a family member or friend. McCaffrey said incineration is the best way to dispose of unwanted medicine because throwing them in the trash or flushing the pills down a toilet poses serious safety hazards.

If you could not participate in the take back event, there are permanent take-back boxes located around the area. Those areas include the police departments in Bluff City, Bristol , Elizabethton, Johnson City, Jonesborough, Kingsport, and Mountain City, the Rogersville Justice Center and the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

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