FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
SHERIFF’S OFFICE UNVEILS SECOND DRUG TAKE-BACK BOX LOCATION: Jefferson County, Arkansas - June 14, 2018- With an opioid epidemic sweeping across the nation, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is working to combat the problem here at home.
This morning, the sheriff’s office held a press conference at Doctor’s Orders Pharmacy located at 2302 W. 28th Avenue in Pine Bluff, AR, where they unveiled the second of four drug take-boxes that they received courtesy of funds provided by former Simmons First National Corporation, Chairman and CEO J. Thomas May. The Simmons First National Corporation provided funding for 4 drug take back boxes totaling at $9,210.00.
Today’s unveiling marks the second permanent Drug Take-Back location offered to any citizen by the sheriff’s office through a partnership with Simmons First, Lelan Stice of Doctor’s Orders, and Region 12 Substance Abuse Prevention Provider, which covers a five county area including Jefferson County, Arkansas.
The sheriff’s office first drug take back box location made available to the general public was in 2014 at its new office, which is near completion.
“Although the building itself is still under construction, the Drug Take-Back box is positioned in the lobby and available to the general public to discard of unused, expired, and unwanted prescription medications,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Operations Commander, Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
This past April, the sheriff’s office along with law enforcement agencies across the country teamed up with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the 15th Annual National Prescription Drug-Take Back Initiative. The sheriff’s office and Tri-County Drug Task Force collected a record 234 pounds of prescription drugs, the agencies largest collection since the very first National Drug Take-Back event in the fall of 2010.
During last year’s Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back conducted on October 28, 2017, a total of 4,274 law enforcement partners from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA), state, local, and tribal agencies working at 5,321 collection sites, collected a record-setting 912,305 pounds (456 ton) of prescription medications that were ultimately removed from circulation.
When those results are combined with what was collected during previous Drug Take Back events nationwide since the fall of 2010 to present, members of law enforcement collected an astounding 9,015.668 pounds (4,508 tons) of drugs from members of the public at locations throughout the U.S. This is due largely to the efforts of our agency and others alike nationwide that assist with overseeing collection sites that collect more and more prescription pills each year. The initiative demonstrates the American public’s continued appreciation and need for the opportunity to discard unwanted, unused, and expired prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, bedside tables, and kitchen drawers.
“The Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. A great number of people in our community have been directed or indirectly affected by prescription drug abuse and misuse, and this event allows local residents to be part of the solution,” Woods said. “Disposing of unused or unwanted medications in a safe and secure environment is a critical step in fighting this devastating public safety health problem.”
Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to http://www.artakeback.org. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.