Arkansans Dispose of 23,678 Pounds of Unwanted Medications on Drug Take Back Day

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Nov. 3, 2023) – Last Saturday, October 28, Arkansans braved rain and thunderstorms to “Drop it in the Box” by bringing 23,678 pounds (11.8 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs to over 275 Take Back boxes located around the state. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Arkansas National Guard ensured these medications were safely destroyed, keeping prescriptions out of the wrong hands and out of our water supply.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for 18-45 year-olds is drug poisoning. The CDC estimates 110,757 Americans lost their lives to drug poisoning last year,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jarad Harper. “There is a call to action in Arkansas to save lives and the DEA appreciates our state and local partners who help collect unwanted and unneeded prescription medications from the homes of Arkansans. We make the biggest impact working together, and with the ultimate goal of saving lives, we can make a difference in Arkansas and beyond.”

The Arkansas Drug Take Back was developed in 2010 to help Arkansas families secure, monitor, and dispose of their unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medications. The Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership (ARORP)’s provides additional educational resources and permanent Drug Take Back box locations.

“The Arkansas Drug Take Back has been a tremendous educational program,” said ARORP Director Kirk Lane. “Arkansans must monitor their homes, secure medications, and dispose of prescriptions that are no longer needed. Take Back provides an environmentally sound service to safely dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired medications and dangerous substances. The 571,899 pounds of medication destroyed since the program’s start is a tribute to Arkansans, local, state and federal law enforcement , and long-time Arkansas Drug Take Back partners who continue to make this evidenced-based program successful in keeping our communities safer.”

“Despite the inclement weather, Arkansans showed up in staggering numbers,” said Arkansas Drug Director Tom Fisher. “Our law enforcement and communities across the state partnered to prevent unused or expired medications from falling into the hands of potential victims or situations for prescription misuse. Thank you to the DEA, ARORP, Arkansas National Guard, UA Little Rock Midsouth, and the Department of Human Services Substance Use Prevention team for their hard work and dedication in the mission to prevent overdoses across the state.”

The next Take Back Day will be held in the spring of 2024. In the meantime, do your part by bringing unneeded drugs to a permanent Take Back box site. Please see for more information.

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