JACKSON, Miss.–One type of drug in the Magnolia state is by far and away the most fatal to people.
Surprisingly enough that’s prescription drugs according to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and Governor Phil Bryant who spoke Wednesday to the media about the problem.
“Over ninety-percent of the fatal drug overdoses in the state of Mississippi last year were from prescription drugs,” said Gov. Bryant.
Prescription drug abuse is a threat officials at the Center for Disease Control have called an epidemic.
“As a former deputy sheriff, I have witnessed from the front lines, the battle against drugs. As Governor, I have seen the dire consequences drug abuse has on our state; from the loss of productivity in the work place to the destruction of the family unit,” he said.
In 2012, agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics initiated nearly 700 cases involving pharmaceuticals and arrested citizens with a wide range of occupational backgrounds according to a release.
“This problem is an indication of the changing landscape and new challenges for law enforcement officers,” Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz said. “Dope dealers on the street corners are a problem but our primary drug threat in Mississippi is from prescription drug abuse.”
The state is now taking an initiative to try and get old and/or expired prescription drugs off the streets and out of houses.
Anyone can drop off prescription drugs into a safe at the below locations where driver’s licenses are renewed.
Officials at DPS said Wednesday that the total cost of the initiative to the entire state was the purchasing of ten safes which was around $10,000.
The cities participating in the turn-in program are Jackson, Greenwood, Batesville, New Albany, Starkville, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Biloxi, and Brookhaven.