Operation  Medicine  Bottle returns Saturday

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Hamblen County will team up with law enforcement and the National Drug enforcement Agency to join in the next Operation Medicine Bottle event at Walmart, located at 475 Davy Crockett Parkway in Morristown.

Each spring and fall, drug collection sites are set up in cities throughout the nation for safe disposal of prescription drugs you have at home, including opioids. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the drug take back was canceled in April.

Paul Hyde, executive director of the Hamblen County Substance Abuse Coalition, appealed to residents to take this opportunity to rid their homes of unwanted or outdated medications whether they are prescription drugs or over the counter medications.

“Operation Medicine Bottle has been a tremendously successful event in our community for the past 11 years by collecting and destroying more than $6,000,000 of dangerous opiates, not to mention the hundreds of pounds of other medications,” Hyde said. “With the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizing an epidemic outbreak of prescription opiate medication addiction, not only in east Tennessee but all across the United States, it is imperative that we take advantage of every opportunity to help reduce the diversion of these unused medications in our community. Local studies have shown that 60% of young people that abuse prescription meds do not get them from a doctor’s prescription… they get the medications straight out of the medicine cabinets of family and friends.”

The DEA will dispose of all medications collected at “Operation Medicine Bottle.” No liquids, gels, powdered medications, hypodermic needles or syringes will be collected at this event.

Anyone unable to bring medications on Saturday may take their medications to the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office located at 510 Allison Street in Morristown to utilize the permanent medication drop box. Their hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The HCSAC would like to thank Sheriff Esco Jarnagin, his deputies, the staff at Walmart and concerned members of the community for making this event possible. For more information, call the HCSAC office at 423-748-7494.