Residents dispose of unused drugs
By Wes Wade | (email@example.com)
Blount County officials collected nearly 350 pounds of old medication Saturday during the second Drug Take-Back event held this year.
The Blount County Substance Abuse Prevention Action team once again partnered with the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force to host the event, held at the Blount County Justice Center.
During a four-hour period 257 cars circled through parking lot to hand over their unused, unwanted and expired medicine. They handed over 347 pounds of drugs and 76 pounds of recyclable bottles.
The 5th Judicial Drug Task Force will properly dispose of all medicine and containers collected Saturday.
While a permanent disposal box was installed in the 24-hour jail visitation area at the Justice Center last November, officials still hold a take-back event twice a year to remind residents of the importance attached to cleaning out medicine cabinets.
“That’s 300 pounds of medication we’re taking out of the reach of kids, out of the reach of potential abusers,” said Jessica Stith, grant manager for the action team. Stith also added that it’s medicine that will be properly disposed of.
Stith said the permanent disposal box has also been a huge success, with an average of 100 pounds or more collected every month. In fact officials have to empty it nearly every day of the week, she said. And even with the box, the take-back events have seen a lot of traffic and even more medication taken out of Blount County homes.
“I was pleasantly surprised today because it’s 257 people that came by today and that’s exciting,” she said. “That’s a lot of people that saw our message to clean out their medicine cabinets.”
Whether they come to the 24-hour disposal site, the take-back events or both, Stith said many residents are just glad to have somewhere to dispose of their unwanted medication.
“We hear a lot from our community members, they’re appreciative there’s now a spot where they can take their medications,” she said. “Now there’s no excuse not to properly dispose of them.”