Drug Take-Back Program Working In Coffee County

pill-bottlesThe Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition is proud to work with the Coffee County Sheriff’s, Manchester City Police and the Tullahoma City Police Departments on the stand out and nationally recognized Prescription Drug Permanent Disposal Program. Since its inception in April 2011, the Departments have partnered with the Coalition to bring an essential proactive tool to community members throughout Coffee County. This program greatly reduces access to prescription drugs amongst youth in our community while also offering a safe and environmentally friendly prescription drug disposal option located in the lobby of all three departments. During the last 4 years the program had collected 1,157 pounds of pills. This weight does not include bottles or liquids, only pills. An average pill weighs between .2 and .5 grams. Many of the prescription drugs collected are highly sought after by people struggling with addiction or selling drugs illegally, i.e. narcotics. The departments have successfully kept approximately $77,190 worth of prescription drugs off our community streets in addition to reducing prescription drug abuse amongst those in which the drug was not originally prescribed.
This program is incredibly cost effective as well. The Coalition paid for the drop boxes, signage, and HIPPA-certified destruction of all prescription drug bottles for a total $709 per year. Including the valuable time department employees spend managing the drop box, the average cost per month is $83.40 per department. For less than $1,000 a year per area a community-wide service is being provided. The marketing and implementation of the program has shown a marked decreased in youth misuse, access, and an increase in perception of harm concerning prescription drugs when coupled with the continuing prevention efforts done by the Coalition. Due to the great success of the program, communities across Tennessee have used our local departments as a model. In 2015 Coffee County was recognized in Washington D.C. with a national “Got Outcomes” award for efforts around prescription drug abuse prevention including the take back program.