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Date Posted: 11/09/2017

Drug Take Back Sets Record

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Amy Webb
DHS Chief of Communications and Community Engagement
Call 682-8650 or amy.webb@dhs.arkansas.gov

 

Prescription Drug Take Back Day Collects Record 14 Tons in Arkansas

Law enforcement officials representing 152 agencies collected a record 28,035 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs during a recent drug take back event, according to Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane. Collection sites were staffed at 171 location across the state.

“The most important statistic in every take back event is a number that we’ll never know – the number of tragedies we prevent and the lives we save by tossing out old prescription drugs at collection sites,” Governor Asa Hutchinson noted. “I applaud Director Lane for his leadership in making our state a safer place.”

The 14 tons of unwanted, old or expired prescription drugs collected is estimated to be 28.9 million pills. Arkansas ranks eleventh nationally in weight collected and fifth in weight collected per capita, according to Lane.

“I am proud to see this record setting number for Arkansas that will have a lasting life-saving impact on our state physically as well as environmentally,” said Lane. “The hard work and partnerships that made this possible, as well as the participation of everyday Arkansans, demonstrates that working together we can solve the unintentional overdose issue.”

Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S., exceeding vehicle fatalities by 50 percent. More than 140 people in America die each day due to a drug overdose. According to the latest information available, 1,067 people In Arkansas died from drug overdose in the years 2013-2015 (319 in 2013, 356 in 2014, and 392 in 2015). Arkansas is in the top 20 percent of states that prescribe the most painkillers per capita.

The Arkansas Drug Take Back day was dedicated to the memory of Nicholas “Cheezy” Alexander Kellar who was only 23-years-old when he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in April 2017 following a long, hard battle with addiction.

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Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

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

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