Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

May 23, 2013

Drug Take Back program collects 438 pounds of unused, unwanted drugs from residents


CROSSVILLE — The second annual Cumberland County Drug Take Back program collected a total of 438 pounds of unwanted drugs from area residents for disposal by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Two Take Back events in 2012 collected 531 pounds. The total, to date, is 961 pounds of unwanted drugs removed from county homes.

The Cumberland County Sheriff Department and the Cumberland Medical Center Wellness Complexes at Crossville and Fairfield Glade organized the April 24 event to collect unwanted drugs from local residents.

“The citizens of Cumberland County have made a powerful statement,” said Chief Investigator Casey Cox of the Sheriff Department. “They want to protect our children from the potential of abuse, and protect our environment and our waterways from contamination."

“The collected medication has been incinerated by the Drug Enforcement Administration,” he added. 

The Cumberland County collection is part of a total of 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications collected April 27 nationwide. More than 5,829 locations manned by 4,312 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies partnered with the DEA on the event. 

When the collections from DEA’s previous five Take Back events were added, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation. 

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Cumberland County law enforcement officials find removing unnecessary pills and drug products from homes also helps to discourage drug-addicted individuals from burglary and theft.

Another Drug Take Back is scheduled in the fall for the Crossville and Fairfield Glade areas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, (CDC), “Today prescription drug abuse is out of control and has become the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, classifying it as an epidemic.”

Regarding adolescents, the CDC says:

• Sixty-five percent of all drug users are younger than 30 and more than half of them are younger than 21 years of age.

• Among youths ages 12 to 17, Tennessee has the sixth highest percentage who abuse prescription pain medication.

• More than 70 percent of children, who abuse prescription drugs, get the drug from a friend or relative.