LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) – Law enforcement agencies across the state will collect expired and unwanted prescription medications as part of Arkansas’s 10th statewide Prescription Drug Take Back event this Saturday.
As part of an ongoing effort to prevent and reduce drug abuse and protect water systems, more than 150 locations will be available across the state for people to drop off their old or unneeded medications.
New DEA regulations became effective in October 2014, expanding available options to collect prescription medicines for the purpose of disposal. As a result, Prescription Drug Take Backs changed from nationwide events to locally-sponsored, planned and funded events.
“We are very excited to carry on this immensely successful effort,” said Steve Varady, Interim State Drug Director. “The high demand for continued prescription drug take backs illustrates how committed the people of Arkansas are to reducing prescription abuse, and we encourage everyone to again take a few moments of their day to clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of what they no longer need.”
In the four years since the first Prescription Drug Take Back, Arkansas has taken in and disposed of 124,523 pounds of unwanted medication while also seeing a significant drop in youth prescription drug abuse rates. Despite this reduction, 38 percent of high school students nationwide who have misused or abused prescription drugs report obtaining them from medicine cabinets in their own homes.
Drop-off is completely anonymous and no questions will be asked. Medications may be returned in any container or removed from the original pill bottles for increased privacy. Unwanted prescriptions, over the counter medications, vitamins, and other nutritional supplements will be accepted. Needles and sharps will not be accepted.
To find the nearest collection site, visit www.artakeback.org. Locations with officers present will accept medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The 2015 Take Back event is planned and coordinated by the Office of the Drug Director, the DEA Little Rock Field Office, the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Department of Human Services and more than 170 additional law enforcement and government agencies, regional prevention providers, community organizations, and public health providers who comprise the Arkansas Prescription Drug Coalition.