Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Saturday, TriStar Skyline Medical Center held a Drug Take Back Day, partnering with local law enforcement and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) to help support the fight against opioid addiction.
“About half the people who abuse drugs are getting those from the home medicine cabinet or from leftover prescriptions. In the case of teenagers who abuse drugs, it’s about two-thirds of them,” said Dr. Jacob Radford, a TriStar Emergency Physician.
The latest figures from the Tennessee Health Department reported 2,089 Tennesseans died from a drug overdose, 15-percent more than deaths than in 2018. The Department reported the trend is driven by illicit fentanyl and stimulants.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, addresses what the DEA calls a “crucial public safety and public health issue.”
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019.
Dr. Radford said another contributing factor to the increase in overdoses is the coronavirus pandemic. He said addiction has been a growing problem in the United States and is increasing. Radford said the numbers have only worsened since the pandemic.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.
“As people have gotten more isolated, more under economic hardships. more stressed, less able to see their doctors and get into treatment for all the underlined medical problems, that’s made addiction and overdoses way worse,” Radford said.
- Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet)
- Tramadol (Ultram)
- Codeine, Fentanyl (Duregesic)
- Morphone, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Oxymorphone (Opana)
- Expired prescription and over-the-counter medications.
On Saturday TriStar Skyline Hospital collected 41 pounds of medication. If you missed out on the event, and have medication that needs to be disposed of, the Department of Justice lists “controlled substance public disposal” locations on their website.