Drug Enforcement Administration


Robert J. Murphy, Jr., Special Agent in Charge

November 07, 2017

Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell

Phone Number: (571) 362-3517

DEA’S Fourteenth Prescription Drug Take Back Day Yields Fruitful Results In Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennesseans participating in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA’s) fourteenth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day (NTBI) held on Saturday, October 28, 2017, turned in 68,053 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state.  This was the highest total ever collected during the previous 13 take back events.

Now in its 8th year, this event continues to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens. The DEA action comes just days after President Donald J. Trump announced the mobilization of his entire Administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioids crisis.

“Daniel R. Salter, the Special Agent in (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Division commented, “DEA’s fourteenth Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign was a huge success both locally and nationally. While Tennesseans turned in 68,053 pounds of unwanted or expired medications, nationally, a record-setting 912,305 (456 tons) of expired and unwanted prescription medications were collected in more than 5,300 sites made available across the United States. I would like to thank the multitude of (both law enforcement and non-law enforcement) who worked tirelessly to make this event another great success.”

This year, DEA worked with its tribal law enforcement partners to set up 115 collection sites on tribal lands. Opioid addiction impacts Native American communities just as it does all parts of American society. By partnering with FBI, BIA, and tribal law enforcement, the DEA was able to greatly expand tribal participation in the Take Back program. DEA remains committed to supporting public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.  

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 U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-posed potential safety and health hazards.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov. Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv

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