FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY EFFORTS BY THE JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE/TRI-COUNTY DTF RESULTS IN ANOTHER BIG HAUL: Jefferson County, Arkansas– On Saturday, April 27, 2013, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Tri-County Drug Task Force collected 73.5 lbs of unused and expired prescription medications as part of the 6th Annual National Prescription Take-Back Initiative sponsored by the Office of Diversion Control of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The total prescription medications collected are estimated to be equivalent to several thousand pills. The response by citizens for this initiative came as a result of citizens across the United States empting medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications and turning them over to authorities at collections sites here in Jefferson County and across the Nation.
During the Fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back conducted on Saturday, September 29, 2012, DEA’s state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, working at more than 5,263 locations, collected 488,395 pounds (244 tons) of prescription medications from members of the public. When added to the collections from DEA’s previous four Take-Back events, more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications were removed from circulation. Although last Saturday’s prescription medication collection totals did not surpass the previous local take- back day held on Saturday, September 29, 2012, the event was still an overall success. Prescription medications are the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. "Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Initiatives such as the National Prescription Drug Take-Back are what ensure that the abuse of prescription medications is reduced. It also ensures that the prescription medications don’t end up in the hands of our youth. However, the ultimate goal is to eliminate such abuse through the continued vigorous pursuit of individuals who violate the laws governing prescription medications.”
In the coming weeks, the Arkansas National Guard’s Counterdrug Program and DEA will collect the medications collected on Saturday’s Drug Tack-Back Initiative across the state and transport them to Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. in El Dorado, where the destruction process will be completed. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Tri-County DTF would like to especially thank the citizens of Jefferson County and Pine Bluff, AR that visited the collection sites on Saturday and dropped off their unused or expired prescription medication.