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     The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Baxter County Coroner's Office, is once again participating in the “National Take-Back Day” in an effort to removed unwanted, unused, and potentially dangerous controlled substances and over the counter medications from our medicine cabinets. This event will be held this Saturday, October 26th 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 outside the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division located at 206 West 8th Street in Mountain Home. There is an unmanned drop box at that location where people may dispose of those drugs. The second location will be in front of the Staples store in Mountain Home at 34 Staples Drive, which is located in the shopping center adjacent to Wal-Mart. The Staples location only will be manned by personnel from the Sheriff's Office and Coroner's Office from 10AM to 2PM who will provide assistance to members of the public who wish to dispose of their medications.

     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.

     Research has shown that Arkansas has one of 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 and Coroner's Office personnel and/or volunteers available to assist you at the Staples drop-off location.

     In addition to this specific event, people may use the secure drop box at 206 West 8th Street that is accessible at all times. This lock box is under 24 hour recorded video surveillance for security purposes.

     All pills and pharmaceuticals collected will later be destroyed using our drug incinerator equipment. Anyone having questions about The National Take-Back Day or drop off procedures may contact the Sheriff’s Office for information.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff