The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory and Medical Examiner’s Office report that hundreds of Arkansans died in 2016 from drug overdoses, with nearly 40 percent of those deaths from Pulaski, Sebastian, and Washington counties.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is encouraging Arkansans to clean out their medicine cabinets, and bring any unused or expired medications to one of the state’s more than 100 Prescription Drug Take Back Day drop-off locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 28.
“Oftentimes, teens first use prescription painkillers by stealing the pills from a family member’s medicine cabinet,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The abuse and overdoes statistics are staggering, but cleaning out medicine cabinets and turning the expired and unused medications over to law enforcement during a Drug Take Back event can save lives.”
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. In addition to reducing the risk of drug abuse, turning over these medications at Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors, or pets.
Rutledge released the following list of medications that will be accepted at these events:
- Opioids, such as OxyContin
- Stimulants, such as Adderall
- Depressants, such as Ativan
- Other prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Pet medicines
- Medicated ointments and lotions
- Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces)
- Medicine samples
Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy. The drugs will be properly destroyed by law enforcement officials.
To find event sites and year-round drop-off locations near you, visit ARTakeBack.org.
Rutledge is partnering on the Prescription Drug Take Back Day with the Arkansas Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, FBI, Office of the State Drug Director, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and more than 130 additional law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations, and public health providers.