FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE-BACK EVENT EFFORTS BY SHERIFF'S OFFFICE/TRI-COUNTY DTF MORE THAN DOUBLES LAST YEARS COLLECTION TOTALS: Jefferson County, Arkansas– On Saturday, October 26, 2013, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Tri-County Drug Task Force collected 160 lbs of unused and expired prescription medications as part of the 7th Annual National Prescription Take-Back Initiative sponsored by the Office of Diversion Control of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The response by citizens for this initiative came as a result of citizens across the United States empting medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications and turning them over to authorities at collections sites here in Jefferson County and across the Nation.
During last years Sixth Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back conducted in April of 2012, DEA’s state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, working at more than 5,263 locations, collected 742,497 pounds (372 tons) of prescription medications that were ultimately removed from circulation.
This years prescription drug take-back collection totals alone by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office/Tri-County Drug Task Force of 169 lbs surpassed last years total of 73.5 lbs by an impressive 86.5 lbs and a 117.687% increase.
Prescription medications are the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. "Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Initiatives such as the National Prescription Drug Take-Back are what ensure that the abuse of prescription medications is reduced. It also ensures that the prescription medications don’t end up in the hands of our youth. However, the ultimate goal is to eliminate such abuse through the continued vigorous pursuit of individuals who violate the laws governing prescription medications.”
In the coming weeks, the Arkansas National Guard’s Counterdrug Program and DEA will collect the medications collected on Saturday’s Drug Tack-Back Initiative across the state and transport them to Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. in El Dorado, where the destruction process will be completed. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Tri-County DTF would like to especially thank the citizens of Jefferson County and Pine Bluff, AR that visited the collection sites on today and dropped off their unused or expired prescription medication.
Visit www.artakeback.org for Rx Prescription Drug Take/Back Dropbox upcoming locations for Jefferson County, AR sponsored by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Simmons First National Bank.