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Fall Drug Take Back breaks record for state

Date: 11/21/2017

Community assistance is vital to the states’ efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, and Arkansans are using the Drug Take Back events to do their part.

“This battle against prescription drug abuse is a matter of saving lives, preserving the well-being of families, and helping to reverse the tide of a growing issue,” said Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane.

Lane, who works with the Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services, estimates the state took in 28.9 million pills – that’s, 14 tons – of unwanted or expired prescription drugs during the Fall 2017 Drug Take Back. Arkansas ranked eleventh nationally in weight of drugs collected and fifth in weight collected per capita.

Lane said Arkansas is a leader in the Drug Take Back efforts because community members are committed to defeating the opioid crisis.  

“Prescription Drug Take Back is a program that is near and dear to our Prevention Team,” said DAABHS Early Intervention and Prevention Director, Tenesha Barnes.  “This initiative embodies community, safety, and educating the general public on the potential for abuse of prescribed medicines. Moving forward, we will remain a staunch advocate of programs which educate the masses on the potential dangers of the improper use of prescription drugs.”

It’s important to now build upon the success of the Fall Take Back.

The Take Back is one of many efforts DHS is participating in to address opioid addiction in Arkansas.

“This is a situation that warrants our attention throughout the year,” said Joycelyn Pettus, program officer for substance abuse prevention. “I’m happy that there was such an outstanding response during Fall Drug Take Back. But we must continue to battle the opioid crisis on a daily basis.”

“It’s important to get these drugs disposed of properly. Youth are taking them out of cabinets and giving them to friends.” Little Rock Police Department Lieutenant and Public Affairs Officer, Michael Ford said. “We as a community must come together and confront this problem.”

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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