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DHS and Office of Arkansas Drug Director to hold 22nd Arkansas Drug Take Back Day to prevent addiction and reduce overdose deaths

04/29/2022

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Office of the Arkansas Drug Director will host the 22nd Arkansas Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This bi-annual event offers free, anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at nearly 300 local drop-off locations across the state.

“Disposing of unneeded medications can help prevent drugs from being misused,” said Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane. “Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic, record highs. I encourage everyone to safely dispose of unneeded prescription medications, and Arkansas Drug Take Back Day provides a convenient way to do just that.”

Through a partnership with the national Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Arkansas Drug Take Back Day reflects DHS’s commitment to citizens’ safety and health. Encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes is an effective way of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting. 

“The Arkansas Drug Take Back Program is designed to educate Arkansans about the negative impact that prescription drug misuse can have and to encourage everyone to keep their households safe,” Lane said. “Getting people to monitor, secure, and properly dispose of medications absolutely saves lives. Reduced access prevents people from unintentionally or intentionally abusing or misusing prescription medications.”

The office of Arkansas Drug Director, DHS, and the DEA are committed to making communities safer and healthier by reducing overdoses and overdose deaths. While the community does its part to turn in unneeded medications and remove them from potential harm, the Arkansas Drug Take Back Program does its part to further reduce the impact of drug-related deaths by educating the public about the dangers and providing resources to make a difference.

Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 93,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2020, an increase of almost 30% from 2019. In Arkansas, 547 people died from a drug overdose in 2020. 

In all previous Arkansas Drug Take Back Day events, dating back to September 25, 2010, Arkansas has collected 442,162 pounds (221 tons) and consistently ranks in the top 15 in numerous Drug Take Back Day event categories, despite ranking 34th in U.S. population (based on the 2020 U.S. Census). 

DHS and the Office of the State Drug Director thank all Federal, State, and local agency partners as well as the community organizations and public health providers who continually make Arkansas’s Drug Take Back Day one of the foremost prevention programs in the state.

While Arkansans will find plenty of drop-off locations for Arkansas Drug Take Back Day, there are over 200 permanent drop box locations throughout the state every day. Most are available to securely dispose of medications 24/7.

To find a drop-off location near you, visit https://artakeback.org/take-back/collection-sites/.

For more information and resources, visit https://artakeback.org/.

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