National drug take back Saturday

By submitted, 04/26/18 10:19 AM

LITTLE ROCK – As the opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc across the state, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is encouraging all Arkansans to participate in the statewide Prescription Drug Take Back this Saturday, April 28. In the face of an epidemic that claimed 401 Arkansans in 2016, it is more critical than ever to clean out medicine cabinets and ensure that unused, expired and unwanted prescriptions remain out of the hands of children and those with addiction.

“The number of Arkansans impacted by the opioid epidemic is staggering and we all must work together to end opioid abuse and misuse,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have unknowingly become drug dealers to their family members. By cleaning out our medicine cabinets and properly disposing of expired and unused prescription medication, whether at the Arkansas Prescription Drug Take Back on April 28 or one of my office’s take back events, we can save lives.”
The national Prescription Drug Take Back Event and the many drop-off locations will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.
The following list of medications that will be accepted at these events across the State:

  • Opioids, such as OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, etc.
  • Stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, etc.
  • Depressants, such as Ativan, Xanax, Valium, etc.
  • Other prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Vitamins
  • Pet medicines
  • Medicated ointments and lotions
  • Inhalers
  • Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces)
  • Medicine samples

According to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory and Medical Examiner’s Office, 401 Arkansans died from drug overdoses in 2016. More than 40 percent of teenagers in Arkansas have tried prescription drugs and more than half of all teens report that it is easy to obtain prescription drugs from their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets.
Take backs are also important in protecting the environment and home. Many medications are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems, meaning that medicines flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting waters and contaminating food and water supplies. Turning over these medications at Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors or pets, as well as reduces the risk of drug abuse.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Days are held twice a year, but to find event sites and year-round drop-off locations near you, visit the updated ARTakeBack.org. The Attorney General’s Office also partners with local law enforcement to host take back events at mobile offices around the State. Since 2016, 570.8 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected and safely disposed of at Attorney General’s Office mobile offices – keeping them out of the hands of children and those with addictions.
Prescription Drug Take Back days are just one step in Rutledge’s multi-faced approach to ending the opioid crisis. Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act. Last fall Rutledge launched Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, it has been launched in 57 schools across 50 counties and reached over 6,000 students with an additional 24 schools committed to launch the program this fall. Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit, a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators.
For more information about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.