The opioid crisis sweeping the U.S. has left citizens and lawmakers looking for a solution.

The abuse of opioids has led to a rise in overdose deaths, heroin addiction, and a wide variety of socioeconomic ramifications to the entire country.

Drugabuse.gov has information for the state of Louisiana in their official reports. The site reads “In 2016, there were 346 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Louisiana—a rate of 7.7 deaths per 100,000 persons—compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000. The main driver of opioid-related overdose deaths through 2012 was prescription opioids. Since then, heroin and synthetic opioids have increased dramatically. From 2012 to 2016, heroin and synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths increased from 51 to 149 deaths and from 19 to 89 deaths, respectively.”

Litigation has been filed against manufacturers, and many education initiatives have launched in an attempt to combat the crisis nationally. However, many citizens are asking what can be done locally to fight this epidemic.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office and the Vernon Parish Narcotics Task Force are hosting a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) prescription take-back event on October 27, from 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 p.m.

The event will be held in the parking lot of the VPSO on 4th Street in Leesville. Residents can turn in all unused or expired medications at the event. No liquid medication will be accepted, nor will any needles be accepted either.

Anyone with questions regarding the event is advised to contact the Vernon Parish Narcotics Task Force at 337-238-4764.