COLUMBUS - The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The drug take back will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Oct. 22.

Residents may bring their pills for disposal to Apple Market in Columbus, Marvin’s IGA in Baxter Springs or the Galena City Hall. This disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

In addition to conducting the Drug Take Back event, deputies at those locations will also be collecting new or gently used coats for area children.

"Each year, we see children in Cherokee County who do not have adequate coats to protect them from the elements," Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said. "We encourage anyone who wishes to help meet that need, to drop off a new or gently used coat on Oct. 22, so we can get them to the kids who need them."