The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a Drug Take Back Saturday, Sept. 26, for anyone wanting to dispose of unwanted and/or expired prescription and non-prescription drugs. No questions will be asked. The event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the WCSO Office at 105 East High Street in Lebanon is in conjunction with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) National Take Back Initiative.
“It’s important to properly dispose of any prescription drugs you are not longer taking or are expired,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “The medicine cabinet is many times the first place young people look to begin experimenting with drugs. Unfortunately, many of us know all too well this can lead to addiction and overdoses, often involving our loved ones.”
The Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner noted in a recent report that drug overdoses in the state surpassed the number of people killed by motor vehicle accidents and even firearms discharges and blood pressure and kidney diseases in 2014. The number of drug overdoses has been escalating statewide for several years.
In Wilson County, there were a total of 1,061 deaths in 2014 with drug overdoses (26) topping that caused by all deaths involving the discharge of firearms (17) and motor vehicle accidents, totaling 14.
Sheriff Bryan encouraged people to begin now looking through their medications for any they are no longer taking or are expired in preparation for the Drug Take Back Day. “It’s important to keep track of what kind of medications you have and how many tablets, pills, etc. you have used,” the sheriff said. “Just as you keep dangerous products out of reach of children, you may even consider keeping your medications in a locked cabinet. This is especially true if you have young people in the house who you may have never even suspected might try a medication you’re taking.”
Medications you use for legitimate reasons are often subject to theft, and can lead to addition and ultimately even drug trafficking. Sheriff Bryan noted that there is a national epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is often the motive in numerous crimes. “We’ve seen pharmacy robberies and even murders increasing at an alarming rate because of drug addiction across this state and the entire country,” he noted, “and it often begins with a young person taking a few pills from someone’s medicine cabinet.”
DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back events provide an obviously needed and valued service to the public, while also reducing prescription drug abuse and trafficking, the sheriff said. “By taking these medications with no questions asked, the DEA is helping make Wilson County a safer place. We appreciate cooperative agency efforts such as this one to enable the public to regularly, safely, and conveniently dispose of such medicines when they are no longer needed or wanted.”