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Drug Take Back Day is Saturday

Unused, unwanted and potentially dangerous prescription drugs are being accepted this Saturday outside McMinnville Police Department during national Take Back Day.

Officers will be accepting pills between the courthouse and McMinnville City Hall in downtown McMinnville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 24.

“We will try to make it a drive thru where people can pull up and not have to get out of their car,” said police detective Todd Rowland. “Everything will be accepted anonymously and we’ll take just about anything. We won’t accept syringes and needles.”

Liquid medication will not be accepted either.

Take Back Day, a national event organized by the DEA, addresses public safety and public health issues. It is an opportunity to rid homes of unused prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. 

This year’s Take Back Day is important because the April 2020 Take Back Day was canceled due to the pandemic. The amount of medication collected in Tennessee during the October 2020 Take Back Day was about one-third the amount collected in October 2019.

The event this month is the DEA’s 20th nationwide Take Back Day. 

Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 493 tons of prescription drugs at over 4,500 sites operated by the DEA and over 4,100 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Those partnerships have now collected nearly 6,850 tons of prescription medications since the inception of the initiative in 2010.

“This is a convenient way to rid a household of prescription drugs that are no longer needed, and it keeps those drugs out of our water supply,” said David Salyers, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation commissioner.

Lisa Piercey, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, said, “We know most people who get addicted to opioids start with a prescription. That is why it is important to properly dispose of your unused prescription drugs, to prevent the unintended consequences of misuse, which can lead to addiction and use of other drugs such as fentanyl which are having an outsized impact on drug overdose deaths in our state.”