Rutledge: POTUS Correct to Call Opioid Crisis a ‘Public Health Emergency’
October 26, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued a statement following the announcement from President Donald J. Trump that directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
“The President is correct to call the opioid crisis a public health emergency,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “In 2016, more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids and the crisis continues to get worse every day. Arkansas is not immune from this epidemic with overdose deaths increasing from 287 in 2015 to 335 in 2016. I stand ready to work with the President and will continue to tackle the epidemic with an all-of-the-above approach that includes education, prevention and treatment.”
Rutledge has brought a first-in-the-nation curriculum to Arkansas called Prescription for Life. Prescription for Life features a digital platform to help high school students in the State understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. The program is free to high schools and more information can be found at ArkansasAG.gov. The curriculum is part of the Attorney General’s already robust prescription drug abuse prevention initiative. During 2016, more than 330 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas and over 160 pounds have been collected since the beginning of 2017. The sixth annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit, hosted by Rutledge, is scheduled for Nov. 9 in Hot Springs with over 1000 registered to attend.
Rutledge is also encouraging Arkansans to clean out their medicine cabinets and bring any unused or expired medications to one of the state’s more than 100 Prescription Drug Take Back Day drop-off locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. To find event sites and year-round drop-off locations near you, visit ARTakeBack.org.