Rusk Police Department adds new, permanent prescription drug dropbox
RUSK, Texas (KLTV) - With the pandemic, the economy and national politics dominating the headlines, another continuing problem has been overshadowed: the opioid crisis.
An East Texas law enforcement agency is putting more emphasis on that problem with permanent drug dropboxes.
Since the turn of the century, the CDC estimates there have been over 800,000 deaths from overdose in America. Over 70-percent of those from opioids, something Rusk police chief Jeremy Black wants to bring attention to by installing a dropbox.
“We know the numbers, we know how dangerous these opioids are. What we’re really targeting is those unused or unwanted medications that are forgotten or stuck in cabinets,” the chief says.
Overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl, have increased sixfold since 1999.
Josh Devers works at the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview and knows only too well the opioid problem. He says he was a user for 17 years.
“I think it is overlooked most of the time, not talked about. I started opioids, I started with prescription drugs and escalated up to heroin use and stuff like that. I’d wake up every day thinking about getting my next fix. I lost multiple friends that I’d grown up with, went to school with. They used, overdosed, been killed by it.” Devers says.
The difference with this Rusk Police Department dropbox is it’s not going to be periodic. It’s permanent.
And hopefully with more awareness, fewer lives will be lost.
“If we’re able to show that we’ve saved one life, then it would have been well worth it,” Black says.
Chief Black says citizens can use the dropbox anytime during the station’s working hours.
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