Tenn. police department collect 30 pounds of drugs during 'take back' event

The Sevierville (Tenn.) Police Department collected 31.83 pounds of drugs from area residents at a National DEA Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, according to WVLT-TV.

Thus far in 2016, the police department has collected 578 pounds of unwanted medications at similar events and in the drug disposal container in the police department lobby.

"The program provides a way for us to help our community by safely disposing of unwanted or expired medications in the home, which can prevent medication errors, accidental overdoses, or inappropriate use," said Police Chief Don Myers, according to WVLT-TV. "The drug collection efforts also reduce contamination of our environment because these drugs are not flushed into the sewer system and don't end-up in the water table or land fill."

In 2015, physicians in Tennessee wrote more than 7.8 million opioid prescriptions for the state's 6.5 million residents.

More articles on population health: 
DEA reduced enforcements as opioid epidemic gained momentum: 5 things to know 
2 dead in burst of opioid overdoses in Twin Cities suburbs 
Cigarettes linked to nearly 30% of cancer deaths: 6 things to know

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