FARRELL, Pa. (WKBN) – Organizations in Mercer County hosted a memory walk to end drug addiction at Valley Baptist Church in Farrell on Saturday.

The walk to end addiction is hosted by the Operation Lighthouse project, an organization sponsored by the Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission.

The walk is a space where the community can heal and grieve those they’ve lost from overdoses.

The county has seen the rate of overdose deaths rise exponentially in the last few years.

The Operation Lighthouse project shines light on the ongoing issue of drug addiction, specifically in the minority community.

Valley Baptist Minister Tim Harrison is a recovering drug addict. He hopes his story can inspire others to seek help.

“If you see somebody like myself that truly was out there, now you see I’m not addicted, I’m a recovering addict. It’s something when you see that, you are able to know that there is hope for you,” said Harrison.

The walk also coincided with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The bi-annual initiative promotes getting rid of prescription medications that are no longer needed.

Mercer County Behavioral Health says getting ride of medications not in use can help avoid addiction to certain substances.

“Sometimes, you know, more medication is prescribed than what is needed for maybe, you know, a surgery or an ailment. So taking the least amount of medication is always a good thing to do,” says Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission Executive Director Tracy Bornick.

There are ways you can get rid of medications in your home.

There are 11 locations in Mercer County open year round for prescription disposal.

The behavioral health commission also provides deterra disposal bags all year long.