LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Drug Take Back Day is returning for an 11th year with nearly 300 sites across the state for residents to dispose of expired or unused medications.
Drug Take Back day is offered across the state because of the danger prescription medicines post to people, pets, and the environment if they are not disposed of properly.
Medicines flushed or poured down the drain end up in the waterways, affecting our drinking water.
Data shows that more than half of the 444 reported drug overdose deaths in Arkansas in 2018 involved opioid medications and more than 70,000 Americans died from overdoses in 2019.
In order to reduce these deaths, we can make sure medications are disposed of in an environmentally safe way by taking them to any of the 250+ drug take back boxes throughout Arkansas, or head to one of the locations on Saturday, April 24 between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.For ten years, Arkansas Prescription Drug Take Back events have provided a safe way to collect and destroy these medications.
According to Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane, Arkansas has the second highest opioid prescribing rate in the nation.
Throwing medications in the trash will still make it to a landfill and seep through the soil and into ground water. There’s also a danger of people and/or pets finding medications in the home - The Animal Poison Control Center said 17% of pet poisoning calls in 2020 were attributed to over-the-counter medications and 15% of calls was attributed to human prescription medications.
Two-thirds of teenagers & young adults who report abuse of prescription medications say they get the majority of the medications from friends, family & acquaintances.
- DON’T leave medication bottles or pill cases lying around
- DON’T store medicines in an unsecured medicine cabinet or bathroom drawer
- DON’T ignore warning signs (Ex: bottles tampered with, pills missing or drugged behavior of someone in your home)
- DO lock up medications in a lock box or hide them in a safe place
- DO keep track of medications – count pills, make marks on liquid containers
- DO keep track of refills – refilling medicine more often than expected can indicate a problem
- DO encourage relatives, friends & neighbors to monitor medications & participate in the Arkansas Drug Take Back Day.
To find AR Drug Take Back Day locations throughout the state, go to www.artakeback.org, click the Collection Sites tab, and type in your zip code.
The site will continue to update locations throughout the month until the event date.
While there, be sure to download the nARcansas app- a free resource containing tools to administer naloxone, an opioid antagonist, in the moment of an opioid overdose and continued steps to save a person’s life.