State Collects Record Number of Unused Prescriptions in National Drug Drop-Off Day
Last month, Tennessee collected more unused prescription drugs than any other state in the nation, marking one bright spot in an opioid epidemic that is claiming more lives each year than car accidents and has lowered the average U.S. life expectancy.
On Oct. 28, Tennesseans dropped off more than 68,000 pounds of prescription drugs at collection points around the state operated by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency as part of a national prescription drug "Take-Back Day."
Tennessee surpassed the take-back totals in Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio combined.
Household prescriptions have long fueled Tennessee's opioid crisis, often serving as a supply source for longtime addicts foraging relatives' homes for pain pills or curious teenagers seeking to experiment.
Substance abuse experts say that year-round education campaigns are finally getting the message to people about the importance of taking unneeded prescription drugs out of circulation.
That is an especially important message in Tennessee, where, on average, there are more than two opioid prescriptions written for every man, woman and child.