LITTLE ROCK — Last year, there was a record number of Arkansans who died of drug overdoses that contributed to the nearly 100,000 people who died nationwide of drug overdose. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 62 percent of teens abuse prescription drugs because they are easy to obtain from their parent’s medicine cabinet.
Prescription drugs are considered a gateway drug, with nearly half of heroin users reporting to have abused prescription drugs before beginning to use heroin. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of the State Drug Director, along with numerous law enforcement agencies across the state, to coordinate local drop-off events as part of the 23rd National Take Back Day on Saturday.
In Greene County, medications can be dropped off at:
Marmaduke Police Department, 307 W Mill Street.
Paragould Police Department, 101 N 3 1/2 Street.
City Drug Co., 1512 Linwood Drive, Paragould.
Greene County Sheriff’s Office, 1809 Rockingchair Road, Paragould.
All of these sites are also permanent collection points, offering a safe way to dispose of medications year-round.
The coalition is encouraging all Arkansans to participate. Law enforcement officers will be available at collection sites across the state to collect and destroy pills in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Since the program began, more than 221 tons of medication has been collected in Arkansas.
“It is dangerous to keep unused prescription medication as it can fall into the wrong hands ultimately hurting a loved one or a member of the community,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I encourage Arkansans to clean out their medicine cabinets and participate in Saturday’s Drug Take Back Day so that we can continue to fight the dangerous drug epidemic that plagues our nation.”
Attorney General Rutledge issued the following list of medications that will be accepted at these events across the State on Saturday.
Opioids, such as OxyContin
Stimulants, such as Adderall
Depressants, such as Ativan
Other prescription medications
Medicated ointments and lotions
Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces)
Medications may be returned in the original pill bottles or any other container for increased privacy.
Properly destroying these medications protects the environment. Medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting waters, which could contaminate food and water supplies. Many medicines are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems. Turning over these medications at the Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors or pets, as well as reduces the risk of drug abuse.
The Prescription Drug Take Back event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. To find other event sites and year-round drop-off locations, go to AR TakeBack.org.
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