Drug Take Back event is Saturday
If expired or unused prescription drugs are in the house, mark Saturday on the calendar.
Twice a year, Arkansas organizations partner to host a statewide Drug Take Back event— and educate the public about the dangers misused prescription medications can pose. Arkansans are encouraged to utilize one of more than 200 collection sites in The Natural State to turn in those type drugs this weekend.
Residents in Drew County can bring their unwanted or outdated prescription medication to the Monticello Police Department 24 hours a day and drop them off in the “green box” located just inside the the PD office not only Saturday but anytime. The MPD is a permanent take-back site for prescription drugs.
“The box only takes pills, no liquids,” Monticello Police Chief Eddy Deaton explained. “This service has been available to Drew County residents for a little over five years now. They can drop off unwanted medication any time day or night, they don’t have to make an appointment. You can just come in and open the slot and it drops the medicine down to the bottom of the box.
“If you have medication in your home, especially with young children, it is best to get it out of your home and out of harms’ way. You can bring it up to the police station at any time so it is safely and properly disposed of and not getting in to the water supply.”
The Drew County Sheriff’s Department will also be one of the 200 sites in the state to turn in expired or unused prescription drugs Saturday.
“This is a great national event where citizens are given the opportunity to give over the unwanted or outdated drugs,” Drew County Sheriff Mark Gober said. “This event keeps these drugs off the streets and out of our water system. It is an environmentally safe way to dispose of these medications and we hope to see a large turnout.”
This year’s event is dedicated to the late William Christian Doerhoff and the William Christian Doerhoff Memorial Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to create a culture of awareness on high school and college campuses of the risks and life-threatening dangers of illicit prescription drug use and illegal substance abuse. To learn more about the William Christian Doerhoff Memorial Foundation, visit Wills- Work.org.
The 2016 Arkansas Drug Take Back event held last May yielded 25,289 pounds of prescription medications in Arkansas; 893,498 pounds were collected nationally. This year, event organizers hope to collect 30,000 pounds of unused medications from the event.
Leftover medicine poses a danger to people, pets and the environment if it is not disposed properly. If flushed or thrown away, it can get into the waterways, affecting the public’s drinking water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published that, in 2015, more than 15,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Unwanted medicines should be disposed of properly like other household hazardous waste.
In 2010, a coalition led by the Arkansas Drug Director’s Office, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office and both Arkansas districts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office launched an ongoing educational program to encourage everyone to “Monitor, Secure and Dispose” their unused and expired prescription medications.
With many law enforcement agencies and other facilities having 24-hour secure drop boxes, some collection sites are always available.