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Tennessee "Takes Back" more prescription drugs than any other state

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you may not know someone in your house could be struggling with an addi...

Posted: Dec. 27, 2017 10:46 PM
Updated: Dec. 27, 2017 10:46 PM

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you may not know someone in your house could be struggling with an addiction. And what is in your medicine cabinet could be fueling that addiction.

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During the last national prescription drug "Take-Back Day," Tennessee collected more unused prescription drugs than any other state.

Evan Radtke began abusing prescription pills at the age of 24.

"It is nothing personal to the people we take it from," said Radtke. "It's just my number one priority when I'm in an addiction is getting my next fix.

"Visiting relatives, a lot them would have two, three, four-year-old prescriptions. It's perfect for a guy like me because you're not going to miss it. I get what I need, you don't know about it, and we go about our day."

As part of the national "Take-Back Day," Tennesseans removed more than 68,000 pounds of prescription drugs from their homes.

Tennessee exceeded the take-back totals in Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky combined.

"Knowing that it's not there, it's not even an option is a tremendous help," said Radtke.

Brian Sullivan with Addiction Campuses says the holiday season is an important time to pay attention to your prescription meds.

"It can be someone in your family, it can be someone very close to you," said Sullivan. "They come over to your house and they know exactly where to look for your prescription pills."

In 2015, the CDC ranked Tennessee third in the nation for drugs prescribed, averaging 1 ½ prescriptions per person.

Sullivan says, if you do need prescription drugs in your house to keep them in unsuspecting places.

"You should treat you prescription medication as you do a loaded weapon, keep it locked," said Sullivan. "If you have a problem, we're here for you. We're going to see you through it."

Nationwide the "Take-Back Day" brought in 450 tons of prescription meds.

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