As overdoses rise in Tennessee, so does pill waste surrender
Tennesseans have surrendered nearly 43 tons of pills and pill waste over the last year, a rise in volume even as the death toll from drug overdoses continues to climb. The Tennessean reports that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration collection events over two days this past year collected more than 35,489 pounds, while the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation reports that an additional 52,164 pounds was collected at permanent drop-off sites around the state between September 2016 and August 2017. At least 1,631 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses in 2016. Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force director Tommy Farmer says he's surprised and heartened that the volume of surrendered pill waste hasn't dwindled. Farmer says collecting unused pills and reducing prescriptions enables law enforcement to focus on street drugs.