Rutledge: Over 200 Pounds of Medications Collected From Mobile Office Initiative
April 19, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that a total of 207.9 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications have been collected from prescription drug take back events at 25 mobile offices around the State. Last week, in Stone County, officials collected the 200th pound.
In January, Rutledge began partnering with local law enforcement agencies to provide prescription drug collection at each Attorney General Mobile Office. Local officers are present at all mobile office stops to ensure the medications are safely collected. This initiative provides Arkansans with another opportunity to dispose of their unneeded medications in their own community in addition to drop-off sites already available at many local law enforcement agencies.
“More than 200 pounds of unused prescription medications are now safely out of medicine cabinets,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The drug take back program is an effective way to get old and expired medications out of homes where they could be abused by children, family members or friends. Handing these drugs to law enforcement for proper disposal ensures they will be destroyed in a safe and secure manner.”
It is reported that nearly 44,000 people die from drug overdoses each year, with more than half of those because of abuse of prescription drugs. The National Institution on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 62 percent of teens abuse prescription drugs because they are easy to obtain from their parents’ medicine cabinet. NIDA also reports that prescription drugs are considered a gateway drug, with nearly half of heroin users reporting to have abused prescription drugs before beginning to use heroin.
Authorities collect prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, pet medicines, medicated ointments and lotions, inhalers, liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers and medicine samples. The next nationwide Take Back event is scheduled for Saturday, April 30.