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Shelby police, health department tackling use of unused prescription medicine


The Shelby Police Department is asking parents to educate children about the dangers of taking unused prescription medication. Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford said they are focusing on young people, saying the problem is becoming more prevalent among adolescents.

“We are trying to be proactive and deter that before it starts,” said Ledford. “One of the biggest issues we found is that young people are getting hold of prescription medication that is left over in the medicine cabinet or something like that. The health department has been real big on proper disposal and this has been a continuation of that.”

One of the biggest culprits is opioids as the county has seen 114 people visit the emergency department due to overdoses between May 2020 and April 2021. DeShay Oliver, deputy health director for the Cleveland County Public Health Center, said the department has teamed up with the Olive Branch Ministry’s Points of HOPE program to provide a year’s supply of Naloxone to all law enforcement agencies within Cleveland County.