Parents worried after finding used needles near Independence high school

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Some Independence parents are concerned after finding used needles near their homes.

This week, several syringes were discovered at the busy intersection of Noland Road and 24 Highway, right across the street from William Chrisman High School. When FOX4 arrived on Wednesday, there were two different needles located near the sidewalk.

Bekki Stanifer has four children, including one who can frequently walks to William Chrisman High School.

“That is terrifying," said Bekki Stanifer, an Independence mom to four kids, including one who frequently walks to William Chrisman. "I know there is a lot of stuff that happens in that area over there, but my son walks to school from here."

It's a concern others in the area are worried about as well. Several parents on Facebook mentioned also seeing used needles near bus stops, local churches and along 24 Highway.

Susan Whitmore, president and CEO of First Call, said overdose deaths have quadrupled in the five-county KC metro area during the last four years.

“It is a symbol of what is happening across the country," she said. "Nearly 167 people are dying everyday from opioid overdose, and unfortunately this is becoming a very common sight."

Whitmore said it's important to know the different resources available to metro families and how to dispose of the needles safely.

“People can safely bring needles to the health department, and they will dispose of them," she said. "It is suggested you don’t touch the needles but pick them up with tongs and place them in a safe container."

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To find a location near you, visit this site.