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DHS excited to partake in Fall 2017 Arkansas Drug Take Back

Date: 10/26/2017

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is among the government agencies working to promote the proper disposal of prescribed medicines with a number of Drug Take Back events this week.           

“The Arkansas Prescription Drug Take Back Program is an educational effort that every Arkansan can participate in. This is a chance for everyone to help reduce prescription drug abuse and misuse in our state,” said Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane. “The concepts of monitor, secure, and dispose of our prescription drugs have proven to save lives. In the process, those principles also protect the well-being of our environment.”

This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Fall 2017 Arkansas Drug Take Back will be held at more than 100 sites throughout the state. This initiative is a joint effort of various government agencies and community partners. 

The Drug Task Force (DTF) is primarily governed by the Drug Director’s Office. One of the chief responsibilities of DTF is to develop alcohol and drug program initiatives designed to address substance abuse across the state.

The University of Arkansas-Little Rock MidSOUTH Center for Prevention and Training, in collaboration with: the Arkansas Drug Director's Office, Partnership for Success grantees, Regional Prevention Providers, and Prescription Drug Overdose are spearheading the Fall 2017 Arkansas Drug Take Back.

“The Drug Take Back is a program that is near and dear to our Prevention Team,” said DHS 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. We are truly excited about this opportunity. 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.”

Arkansas ranks in the top 20 percent per capita of states for prescribed painkillers, and according to the latest data, from 2013-2015 more than a thousand Arkansans died due to a drug overdose.

For each of the entities involved in Drug Take Back Day, they’re also inspired to battle improper drug use because it often impacts the lives of youth in Arkansas.

“We simply want to raise awareness of the prescription drug epidemic within our state," said Prevention Program Manager at UALR MidSOUTH Center for Prevention and Training, Chuks Odor. "Several organizations are working with their local law enforcement to promote the Fall 2017 Arkansas Drug Take Back. It is through this statewide effort to collect unused prescription medications that we hope to keep these drugs out of the hands of Arkansas’ youth."   

“What we must keep in mind is that our minors typically gain access to their first dose of opioids – and other non-medical use of prescription drugs – from the medicine cabinets of their parents, close relatives, or friends,” said DHS Program Officer for Substance Abuse Prevention, Joycelyn Pettus. “Drug Take Back Day is an invaluable opportunity to educate everyone on why it’s vital that prescribed medicines are always handled properly.”

For more information about the correct use and proper disposal of prescription drugs, in addition to a complete list of take-back locations visit www.artakeback.org.

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

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

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