The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Take Back Initiative held on October 29th was the third year for the event.
The 11,924 pounds of medications are the most ever obtained in a single Arkansas Take Back event, and reflect an increase of more than 4,500 pounds from the last event on April 30th. According to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, the medications collected on October 29 are estimated to be 16.6 million pills.
On November 2, the Arkansas National Guard Counterdrug Program and DEA transported all collected medications to a licensed hazardous waste facility in El Dorado where they were destroyed the next day. Through three statewide take back events, Arkansas has collected and destroyed about 12 tons of unneeded medications.
"Along with monitoring and securing your prescription medications, proper disposal is a very important part of keeping them from ever doing harm to anyone," State Drug Director Fran Flener said. "Thanks to your efforts, the drugs returned on October 29 will never be stolen, abused, or adversely impact our environment."
Arkansas's participation was planned and coordinated by the DEA, the Office of the Drug Director, the Arkansas Attorney General's Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Arkansas National Guard, the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, the Department of Human Services and more than 30 government agencies, community organizations, and public health agencies. Until new federal regulations are enacted regarding disposal of prescription medications, the DEA is planning to conduct nationwide prescription drug take back events every six months.