LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky has some of the highest rates in the nation when it comes to drug overdoses.
It is a problem that has only been compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is why police agencies say the drug take back events held in communities across the country on Saturday are so important.
"We are getting it out of people's residences and keeping it out of the wrong hands to reduce any chance of misuse," said Brendan Fitzpatrick with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
If you ever have an old prescription medication, whether it's expired or you don't take it anymore, this is one of the safest ways to get rid of it.
"In reality though we know we are going to receive over the counter, other prescriptions, and even supplements because people are just getting rid of it, out of their house, that's fine with us," said Fitzpatrick.
The DEA held the event in partnership with Kentucky American Water. The goal is to allow people to easily and safety get rid of any unwanted medication.
"This is a very safe environment," said Susan Lancho with Kentucky American Water. "You don't even have to get out of your car to drop off your medication. It's a simple thing but it's a big thing."
It's a big thing because with skyrocketing numbers related to drug use nationwide, this helps keep those pills off the street. One of the bigger issues we have tackled this week is that of fake prescription pills.
"You might just think it's a prescription drug that you're receiving from someone, in fact, someone has made this in their garage or basement," Fitzpatrick said. "You really don't know what's in there and it could be lethal."
It could be lethal if it's laced with fentanyl. Drug experts say that can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.