LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — (Eds. Note: The attached video is from April 2021.)
Nearly 300 locations across Arkansas will be encouraging residents to dispose of expired and unneeded prescription medications in an environmentally safe method.
This comes in time for the live-saving 22nd semi-annual Arkansas Drug Take Back Day, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 23.
According to the release from Arkansas State Police:
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from their homes. The event, in partnership with the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, provides an opportunity for communities to address substance use disorder and overdose deaths.
Data also shows there were an estimated 93,331 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2020, which is an increase of 29.4% from the 72,151 deaths predicted in 2019. In Arkansas, 547 people died from a drug overdose death in 2020.
“The Arkansas Drug Take Back Program is an educational program to encourage all citizens to keep their households safe,” said Kirk Lane, Arkansas Drug Director. "The more we can get people to monitor, secure and properly dispose of the medications, the more we can save lives through less accessibility of those that can intentionally or unintentionally abuse or misuse them."
In order to prevent an overdose, experts recommend the following:
- Monitor - Know where you medications are and how many/much you have at all times.
- Secure - Lock up your medications. Don't let them end up in the hands of someone you love to abuse them, which could even cost them their life.
- Dispose - The only way to properly (environmentally safe) way to get rid of expired and unneeded medications is to take them to a drug take back box or join state police on Saturday, Oct. 23 for the Arkansas Drug Take Back Day at any of the 250+ locations across the state.
All of the locations across central Arkansas can be found at https://www.artakeback.org/take-back/collection-sites/.