By RACHAEL LONG
Since its installation in January 2018, the Brentwood City Hall Drug Drop Box has collected 954 pounds of prescription drugs.
The program began as part of the city’s partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force and the Williamson County Anti-Drug Coalition.
According to a 2018 revised report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Tennessee’s overdose death rate was 18.1 deaths per 100,000 persons, which is higher than the national rate of 13.1 deaths per 100,000 persons.
The goal of the city’s drop box, according to Brentwood Police Officer Bill Reape, is to provide a “a safe and easy way to get rid of prescription medicines” for people who do not wish to keep the drugs in their homes.
Accepted drop-off items include prescription medications, pet medications, inhalers, pills in any packaging (including glass, plastic containers, bags or foil), all over-the-counter medications and liquid medications in leak-proof containers.
Reape is the program administrator and he empties the box each month. He said the city collects, on average, about 75-80 pounds of drugs per month. Once the pills are removed, they are sent off to be incinerated.
The program also helps protect Brentwood’s environment by keeping drugs out of the water supply, landfills and other natural collection sites. In other words, it’s better for the environment to drop off any unwanted prescription medication; flushing them can be harmful to the environment.
“This is a safe way to control the spread of opioid addiction,” Reape said.
Drop off is free, and no paperwork is necessary.
The drug drop off box is located in the lobby of Brentwood City Hall at 5211 Maryland Way. It is available 24 hours a day, every day, and is monitored by camera surveillance.