LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – It has been a busy week in the Bluegrass for those fighting local battles against the country’s war on drug addiction.
“When the president tells us to focus on a problem, we focus on it,” said acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan. Hargan left Washington to visit a Lexington clinic Friday, in response to the Trump administration declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
While opioids can range from pain killers, to heroin, law enforcement agencies across Central Kentucky focused on the prescription side Saturday afternoon.
“One of the ways in which, especially kids or teenagers, can get their hands on it. It can be dangerous and lead to addiction,” said Brendan Fitzpatrick with the Lexington DEA.
As a part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, multiple counties held drop off drives Saturday so folks could get rid of unused or old controlled substances. Officials in Lexington expect to fill more than 100 boxes with the unwanted drugs.
Even though the boxes will head for the incinerator, DEA officials say it’s still important to talk to your children and teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
“What we are trying to do is to make people aware the dangers of having a controlled substance in their house that is not locked up or secured in some fashion,” said Fitzpatrick.
Local law enforcement agencies hope the initiative will help keep some opioids out of the wrong hands, while national leaders hope to put more resources in the right hands.
“The need for resources. For targeted resources in these communities. I think we heard [that] loud and clear,” said Hargan.