FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
CITIZENS DONATE FOOD AND TURN OVER UNUSED/EXPIRED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS TO DEPUTIES DURING THE 8th ANNUAL DRUG TACK-BACK: Jefferson County, Arkansas– Today, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Tri-County Drug Task Force collected 101 lbs of unused and expired prescription medications and 44 lbs of non-perishable food as part of the 8th Annual National Prescription Take-Back Initiative sponsored by the Office of Diversion Control of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 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 last years 7th Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back conducted in October of 2013, DEA’s state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, working at more than 5,683 locations, collected 647,211 pounds (324 ton) of prescription medications that were ultimately removed from circulation.
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 site on today to donate food and drop off their unused or expired prescription medication.