For The Vista
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department and the Cumberland Medical Center Wellness Complex at Crossville are joining again for a “Drug Take Back” event in Crossville to collect out-of-date prescriptions, unneeded over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and other pharmaceutical products for safe disposal.
The Front Desk at the Wellness Complex at Fairfield Glade cannot accept drugs without an authorized law enforcement officer present to take possession of them.
Fairfield Glade residents may drop off drugs at the Wellness Complex at Crossville, or wait for another Drug Take Back scheduled in Fairfield Glade on Wednesday, March 27.
Casey Cox, chief investigator for the Sheriff’s Department, said, “Prescription drugs are the most widely abused drug nationwide and Tennessee ranks 2nd on the list in the United States.
Getting these unnecessary pills and products out of homes helps discourage drug-addicted individuals, especially from adding burglary and theft to their bad habits.”
The event is from 6 to 8 a.m. and again from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15.
It will be a simple drive-up process in front of the Wellness Complex at 130 Woodmere Mall, on Highway 127.
Drugs and related items for disposal can be handed out of the car window to representatives of the Sheriff’s Department and the Wellness Complex.
Out-of-date prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and other pharmaceuticals will be disposed of by incineration. Cumberland Medical Center will take syringes and items that need sterile disposal. All plastic containers will be recycled.
“We collected an astounding amount in the Fairfield Glade area in September, and if this event in Crossville is as successful, we plan to do the Drug Take Back several times a year,” Cox said.
“This problem is out of control. We need to deal with it in a very assertive way,” he added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, (CDC), a 2010 study showed enough prescription painkillers were prescribed that year to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month.
A National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2010 showed more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of persons using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined.
Some Tennessee-related statistics show:
• Eighty percent of all crimes are drug-related.
• In 2010 prescription drugs were the most commonly cited drugs among drug treatment admissions in Tennessee.
• Tennessee ranked first in 2007 and now ranks 2nd among all states in 2012 for prescription drug abuse.
• Tennessee was one of the top ten states for rankings in other drug-use categories, including past-month use of illicit drugs other than marijuana among persons age 12 and older.
• Tennessee drug-related deaths are higher than firearm deaths.
• Tennessee drug-related deaths are 25 percent high than the national average.
According to the 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 a 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.
• One in every four adolescents under age 15 who use drugs will have a lifetime of dependence.
• Use is starting earlier with more than 63 percent of adolescents reporting drug use for non medical purposes earlier than age 15.
• More than 70 percent of children, who abuse prescription drugs, get the drug from a friend or relative.