However, Bradley County area residents do not have to wait for the spring and fall dates to discard medications that are no longer needed or have exceeded their expiration dates.
In 2013, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration designated Bradley County Sheriff’s Office as a permanent collection site for the Pharmaceutical Collection Program, and placed a large metal container that can securely hold discarded drugs. With the designation, the opportunity exists to discard unused or outdated prescription and over-the-counter medications any time of the year.
“In the past year, a number of people have used our collection site to clear their shelves of unneeded medications,” according to a statement by Sheriff Jim Ruth and Chief Deputy W.G. Campbell. “With the DEA holding their drug collection event, it is an opportunity to remind area residents they can bring them to the Sheriff’s Office any time of the year.”
The container can be easily accessed just inside the entrance of the Criminal Investigations Division on the south side of the Judicial Center at 2290 Blythe Ave. Hours for collection are 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on days the sheriff’s administrative offices are open.
“The program offers an environmentally safe way of discarding medications, keeping them out of the Bradley County Landfill and our water supply,” the law enforcement officers stressed.
DEA offers the following guidelines for the Pharmaceutical Collection Program. Items accepted by the initiative include:
- Over-the-counter medications;
- Pet medications;
- Medicated ointment, lotions or drops;
- Liquid medications (in leak-proof containers);
- Inhalers; and
- Pills in any packaging (glass bottles, plastic containers, plastic bags, etc.).
Items not accepted in the program include:
- Illegal drugs and narcotics;
- Blood sugar equipment;
- IV bags;
- Bloody or infectious waste; and
- Personal care products (shampoo, lotions, etc.).
Prescription medications are destroyed in the container, so removing labels is not necessary. The drugs are periodically turned over to DEA for incineration.