Sullivan County

Hundreds of pounds of drugs collected at take-back event

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Tri-Cities residents had the chance to clean out their medicine cabinets on Saturday for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Law enforcement agencies across the region teamed up with East Tennessee State University's pharmacy program to collect prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

We stopped by one collection point at the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, where more than 150 pounds of medicine had been dropped off.

ETSU pharmacy student Ashley Anthony told us their goal is to get the drugs out of homes.

"A lot of these medications are very potent and powerful medications," said Anthony. "A lot of them are for pain that just don't get used so they get diverted to other people who shouldn't be taking them."

Anthony told us the non-controlled drugs will be destroyed at the Eastman plant.

The controlled drugs, she said, will be taken by the students for research. She told us they will analyze how long people hold onto medications and what they are used for, in order to come up with prescription drug abuse prevention strategies.

We're told medicines should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet.

If you missed Saturday's event, there are drop off boxes available year round. You can visit the Drug Enforcement Administration's website to find a location near you.

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