In the midst of the nation's opioid crisis, North Dakota counties are offering take-back locations for unused prescription medications, including opiates.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday. Local representatives of the Mayors' Gold Star Community Task Force met Friday to stress the importance of ceding unused, addictive medications like Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Percocet.
Americans turned in 450 tons of medication last year, said Dr. Gordon Leingang, of CHI St. Alexius Hospital.
Take-back locations in Burleigh County include the Bismarck Police Department, Sanford Health, Gateway Healthmart-Sunrise, CHI St. Alexius Health and Thrifty White locations.
Locations in Morton County include the Mandan Police Department and Morton County Sheriff's Department, CHI St. Alexius Health's Mandan clinic, Gateway Healthmart-Mandan and Thrifty White.
Kurt Snyder, executive director of the Heartview Foundation, said, as 22 million Americans cope with addiction, it's important to remember that anyone can be afflicted by the disease.
"They look like the boy next door or the girl next door," he said. "Addiction is treatable and recovery is possible."
Bismarck Police Chief Dan Donlin stressed the Good Samaritan laws relating to overdose calls. Callers can have immunity from prosecution if they, in good faith, seek medical help for an overdosed person.
"We want to save lives," he said.