828.682.7899 info@pathwnc.org

In 2009, approximately 50 local medical and mental healthcare professionals and community members, concerned about the increasing rate of unintentional deaths by prescription drug poisonings, came together to form the Mitchell-Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force (MYSATF). Our core approach to reducing and eliminating substance abuse in Mitchell and Yancey counties includes awareness, education, advocacy, and prevention. Substance abuse is a complex issue.  In order for our work to be truly effective, we involve a broad range of stakeholders, including:


  • Local law enforcement
  • Medical and mental health providers
  • Schools
  • Members of the faith community
  • Youth
  • Parents
  • Businesses
  • Civic organizations
  • State and local government
  • Media professionals

upcoming events:

december, 2019

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drop box locations

Safely dispose of unused medication at one of 4 permanent drug drop boxes. We encourage you to leave medication in the original prescription bottle for the purpose of identifying the type of medication (please MARK OUT personal information on the label).

Yancy County Sheriff’s Office
Main Entrance
24 hours/ 7 days per week

Burnsville Town Hall
Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office
Main Entrance
Mon-Fri 8:00am- 7:00pm

Spruce Pine Police Department


Drug take-back days: During these scheduled events, community members have voluntarily turned in more than 500,000 unused prescription medications and another 425 lbs. of illegal drugs, all of which were appropriately disposed of by law enforcement.

Physician trainings: MYSATF members have drawn upon a national model to train local physicians in the use of the Controlled Substance Registry. Additionally, MYSATF has facilitated roundtable discussions with health care providers about the risk of treating youth and adolescent sports injuries with opioids.

Free after-school programs: At-risk youth have access to positive role models and community activities through STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) in Mitchell County, the Cougar Fit Club in Yancey County, and the Youth to Youth Initiative in both counties.

Dissemination of materials: MYSATF is responsible for distributing Substance Use and Mental Health Resource Guides and safe drug disposal guidelines appropriate for community members in both counties.

Drug Lock Boxes: To date, MYSATF has distributed over 200 FREE medication lock boxes to to individuals, physicians, senior centers, and churches.