KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several places around the metro are taking part in National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.
The DEA reports that 2020 marked the highest number of drug-related deaths in a year. 93,000 people died of a drug overdose.
On Sunday, first responders got to a call about an unresponsive 17-year-old female around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in the 400 block of Cherry Street in Chillicothe.
The teen was found to be deceased, and the investigation revealed she had taken counterfeit prescription pills. The pills contained dangerous amounts of controlled substances, and Chillicothe officers have seen other instances of overdoses of the same manner recently. Those other incidents were not fatal.
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers. The same survey found a lot of those people got them from family members and friends.
The DEA recently issued a public safety alert, which led them to launch the "One Pill Can Kill" awareness campaign to let people know about the surge in deadly, fake prescription pills.
That's why drug take back days are important, as the DEA hopes to remove unwanted medications out of the home and avoid prescription misuse.
"Just think everybody should be more aware of this growing epidemic and knowing that Fentanyl is being added to a lot of drugs and educating, you know, especially the youngsters, and recognizing if there's a family member or somebody they're concerned about, they can make a phone call. They can start with primary care. Then the primary care can do refer to other places if needed," Dr. Roopa Sethi, an addiction psychiatrist at the University of Kansas Health System said.
There are at least a dozen locations on the Missouri side that are participating on Saturday and several on the Kansas side of the metro.
Visit the DEA website to find a location near you.