You can always take unwanted prescription drugs to the dropbox in the Knoxville Police Department lobby, but on April 29, you'll have even more options for drug disposal.
That's the 12th annual U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., you can drop off drugs at numerous locations across the country.
In Knoxville, that includes the Knoxville Convention Center, 701 Henley St. (as part of the Health Expo there); Food City at 7608 Mountain Grove Drive in South Knoxville; and Farragut Pharmacy, 11424 Kingston Pike. Other area locations: Riggs Drug Store, 604 E. Emory Road, Powell; Blount County Justice Center, 904 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville; Oak Ridge Police Department, 200 S. Tulane Ave.; Union County Sheriff's Office, 130 Veterans St., Maynardville; City of Sevierville Police Department, 300 Gary Wade Blvd., Sevierville; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 4074 Parkway, Pigeon Forge; Monroe County Sheriff's Office, 319 Hickory St., Madisonville; Food City, 416 Eastern Plaza Shopping Center, Newport; Athens Police Department, 815 N. Jackson St., Athens; and CVS Pharmacy, 928 Decatur Pike, Athens.
The event is intended to keep drugs from being diverted for abuse or sale, or accidentally taken by children. The CDC reports nearly half of people abusing prescription opioid drugs get them from friends or family members -- more than half of those for free.
In addition, it's no longer safe to flush unused medications down the toilet or throw them in the trash, because of health, safety and water/groundwater pollution concerns.
You can search for an April 29 drop-off location near you at the DEA's National Take Back website, www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.
For Tennessee, the Count It! Lock It! Drop It! prescription drug abuse prevention program also maintains an online drop-box finder at http://countitlockitdropit.org/drop-box-finder/. That program, which originated in Coffee County and is sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, offers other opportunities to be involved in drug abuse prevention efforts.
To submit an item for consideration for Good Morning East Tennessee, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions must be made at least one week before the event.