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Sevierville to Participate in 14th National DEA Drug Take Back Initiative

Posted 10-27-17

As a full-time partner with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the City of Sevierville Police Department (SPD) will partner with Walgreens in the 14th National DEA Drug Take Back Initiative. The event will be on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10:00AM-2:00PM at Walgreens, 119 Forks of the River Parkway. SPD Lieutenant Ken Garner, Office of Emergency Management Director, will be on duty to assist citizens who may have questions. At last year’s event over 30,000 pounds of unused, unwanted, and expired medication was collected in the State of Tennessee.

During past drug take back events, SPD officers have collected, on average, over forty-five pounds of drugs. After collection, all drugs are destroyed by incinerator and any plastics received are recycled.

In addition to dropping-off drugs at this event, citizens may drop-off drugs at the SPD Drug Take Back receptacle any time or day of the week. The service is free and anonymous. The following drugs are accepted:
• All loose pills and powders.
• Liquid drugs are only accepted in sealed packaging.
• Sealed drugs and aids (i.e. diabetic supplies, meters, etc.)
The department is unable at this time to accept syringes or other types of drug paraphernalia. Anyone with questions may contact Lt. Ken Garner at 865.868.1753 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

Additional Information From the Drug Enforcement Administration

National Prescription Drug Take Back Days address a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

These Take-Back events are a significant piece of the White House’s prescription drug abuse prevention strategy released last week by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Purging America’s home medicine cabinets of neglected drugs is one of four strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse and diversion laid out in Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis. The other strategies include education of health care providers, patients, parents and youth; establishing prescription drug monitoring programs in all the states; and increased enforcement to address doctor shopping and pill mills.