The "National Take-Back Day" event this past Saturday, April 28th, was very successful in terms of the number of pills and medications turned in for safe disposal. From 10 AM to 2 PM, officers collected 38,272 pills at the drop-off point near Staples on Highway 62 East. Combined with pills dropped at the permanent drop box on Eighth Street at the Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Division, there was a total of 40,772 pills with packaging collected weighing approximately 258 pounds.
The drop box at 206 West 8th Street remains available at all times for persons wishing to utilize it to dispose of pills and medications.
The Sheriff's Office appreciates the public's participation and support in assuring that these unwanted pills and medications are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office is once again participating in the “National Take-Back Day” in an effort to remove unwanted, unused, and potentially dangerous controlled substances and over the counter medications from our medicine cabinets. This year’s National event is called ‘Operation Spring Cleaning’. This year’s event will be held this Saturday, April 28, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. There will be two separate drop off points that members of the public may use. The first drop off location will be the permanent drop box that is located outside the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division located at 206 West 8th Street in Mountain Home. Sheriff’s Investigators will be on hand at the second location which will be in front of the Staples store in Mountain Home, located in the shopping center adjacent to Wal-Mart.
The National Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to children and to public health and safety. This event is intended to bring national focus to the issue of increasing pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse. The last event was held October 29, 2011. Arkansas collected approximately 11,924 pounds during the take back event last fall. Arkansas, which is part of a 4 state region and has the smallest population, (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas) accounted for 77% of all the drugs collected during the last event.
Research has shown that Arkansas has the worst teen prescription pain reliever abuse problem in the entire United States. Arkansas has consistently ranked among the top ten states with the highest rate of non-medical use of pain relievers by 12 to 2 year old persons since 2002. Arkansas’ sixth graders have been shown to abuse prescription drugs more than any other substances except alcohol and cigarettes. Many of those children between 12 to 17 years of age reported they obtained prescription pain relievers and stimulants from friends or relatives 71% of the time, often stolen from medicine cabinets. It is vitally important for the safety of our youth that unused and unneeded prescription medications be properly disposed of.
In the past, flushing medications and drugs seemed to be a safe and responsible method of disposal. We now realize that the drugs do not completely disintegrate and are contaminating our waterways. Wastewater treatment plants and septic systems are not generally designed to treat pharmaceutical waste. The risk to the health of our waters is significant when we contribute to pollution by what we pour down our drains. This ends up in our creeks, rivers, and lakes, and it places our drinking water supply at unnecessary risk.
The National Take-Back Day program is FREE and “No Questions Asked”. The drop off locations will accept pills and medications in the bottle or in a bag or other disposable container. People may remove any or all labels from the bottles or containers if they wish. The process is very easy…..simply drive up and drop them off. There will be Sheriff’s Office personnel and/or volunteers available to assist you.
Just a reminder that in addition to these National Take Back Events, the Sheriff’s Offices also has a secure drop-off lock box outside the Criminal Investigation Division Offices on 8th Street that can be used at any time. This lock box is under 24 hour recorded video surveillance for security purposes.
All pills and pharmaceuticals collected Saturday from all the locations across the State will be transported by the Arkansas National Guard to an Incineration Facility and destroyed. Anyone having questions about The National Take-Back Day or drop off procedures may contact the Sheriff’s Office for more information.
Sheriff John F. Montgomery,
(Download Take Back Poster)