TDEC encourages participation in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation encourages Tennesseans to take part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Local law enforcement and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will provide the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. (Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharp instruments, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

“This event encourages the proper disposal of prescription drugs, and TDEC is proud to be a part of it,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “We have seen how awareness of this issue has prompted strong participation in the past, and we urge everyone to get involved.”

The October event is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s 19th nationwide event since the program’s inception over 10 years ago. Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. The program has now collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative in 2010.

To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 355 authorized collectors that are available all year long. For more information about locations in Tennessee, visit

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 24 Take Back Day event, go to

For more information about TDEC’s Unwanted Household Pharmaceutical Takeback Program, including a complete list of participating counties and acceptable or non-acceptable items, please visit

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