Pill Take Back

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Madison County residents are putting a stop to prescription drug abuse, one pill at a time. The Jackson-Madison County Metro Narcotics Unit teamed up with several local partners to host their second annual drug take back. Pill after pill, time after time, they end up in the wrong hands, according to Lt. Marc Byrum, with the Jackson-Madison County Metro Narcotics Unit. He says over the past four years, prescription drug abuse has risen, not 100 percent, but nearly 400 percent in the U.S. Sandra Presson, a resident, says, “It’s phenomenal that one of our biggest problems, most people are not aware of.” So, awareness is what community members are spreading, by partnering with the sheriff’s department, for their second annual “Operation Take It Back.” Byrum, adds, “It’s currently the most widely abused type of drug other than marijuana.” According to Byrum, Tennessee actually leads the nation in hyrocodone prescriptions. It is a statistic that has encouraged Presson to turn in all her old prescriptions, and wants you to do the same. Presson, adds, “It’s very upsetting to know that the overuse and over prescribing is what’s affecting our community and the future for our children.” And organizers say by turning over your unused prescriptions, you are actually doing yourself a favor because the chemicals in the medications could get into your water, especially if you live in a rural area, and use a well or septic system. Byrum, says, “They are taken to an incinerator. Believe it or not, it’s less harmful for the environment for these to be turned into smoke than to be put into the ground itself.” Pill problems here may not be solved overnight, but residents say if everyone does their small part, it could prevent your son, daughter, mother, or brother from becoming addicted. The event is part of a nationwide take back initiative sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Thousands of pills were collected in Jackson Saturday, however, if you missed it, you are asked to contact the Jackson-Madison County Metro Narcotics Unit to dispose of them.

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