FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND TRI-COUNTY DRUG TASK FORCE PLAN TO COLLECT UNWANTED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Jefferson County, Arkansas – April 5th 2013 – On Saturday, April 27th 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of this year’s 6th National Take-Back Initiative the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Tri-County Drug Task Force in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. We ask that you bring your medications for disposal to one of two collection sites.
• Brookshires located at 2800 S. Hazel Street in Pine Bluff, AR., where the Sheriff’s Office Mobile Incident Command Center will be on sight.
• Saint James United Methodist Church located at 1900 University, Pine Bluff, AR.
• Pine Bluff National Bank located 5503 S. Olive Street, Pine Bluff, AR.
The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last year’s collection totals by the Tri-County Drug Task Force and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office surpassed the previous take-back event by more than 60 lbs. Those estimates totaled 126 lbs of prescription medications collected, equivalent to several thousand pills. Likewise, nationally during the month of September 2012, DEA’s state, local and tribal law enforcement partners working at more than 5,263 locations, collected 488,395 pounds (244 tons) of prescription medications from citizens.
When the results of the four Take-Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medication from circulation.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Prior to the Prescription Take-Back Initiative, Americans usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash both posed potential safety and health hazards. However, the initiative provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.