Prescription drug take-back day successful across Arkansas

Pulaski County

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Thousands of pounds of unused and expired prescription drugs were turned in across Arkansas over the weekend.

Arkansas is the worst state in the nation for teenage prescription drug abuse. Nationwide, a life is lost every 19 minutes to prescription drug abuse or misuse.

Studies have shown that 70 percent of prescription drugs that are abused and misused come from home medicine cabinets. Organizers hope that by removing theseold and expired prescription drugs helps will help prevent abuse and overdose by both children andadults.

Pulaski County residents turned in nearly 325 pounds of prescription drugs, according to the sheriff's office. This was the county's fifth time to take part in the national take-back effort. Between all five events, the county has turned in 1,246.5 pounds.

Baxter County in north Arkansas took part for the third time Saturday, and this was their busiest year so far, taking in 364.5 pounds of pills.

"I don't think we haveever had a day since we installed the permanent drop box that there were notmedications in the box," Sheriff John Montgomery said in a press release. "People use it and love it."

Various police departments and the sheriff's office in Saline County together took in 1,171.2 pounds of prescription drugs. Saline County has taken part six times, taking in more than 1.5 tons total.

All collected items will be destroyed in a safe and environmentallyfriendly manner. The collection also ensures proper disposal so water supply and landfillsare not contaminated.

Anyone who missed Saturday's official take-back day should contact their local law enforcement agency because several have permanent 24/7 drop-off locations.