Arkansas prepares for its semi-annual Drug Take Back Day
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) —
Arkansas drug director Kirk Lane says in 2016, Arkansas prescribed over 253 million opioid prescription pills.
It's one of the reasons why Arkansas ranks second in the nation in over prescribing opioids.
But this Saturday, the country will be focusing its attention on clearing those medicine cabinets of pills people don't need anymore.
The numbers don't lie, when it comes to the Arkansas drug take back program.
"The total, so far,” Lane said, “since 2010, is 131 tons of prescription drugs that we've taken and destroyed."
131 tons since the state, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency, has taken two days a year to allow Arkansas to give back their prescriptions they don't need.
"The amount of drugs that we get kind of is an indicator how well we're getting that information out there," Lane said.
On one collection day, they can see anywhere from 24 to 28 thousand pounds of pills, that's the equivalent of two semi-trucks.
Lane says even though that puts Arkansas at third in the nation for its drug take back program, a bronze isn't good enough.
"I think number three is great but I think number one is better," Lane said.
Mainly because of the number of opioids still circulating the Natural State.
"We're a very high opioid dependent population because of our prescribing, and sometimes, our over prescribing," Lane said.
Lane says this Saturday, will help curb the national epidemic.
"Every Arkansan can get involved in the solution," said Lane.
Click here for a list of drop-off locations for this Saturday’s Drug Take Back Day.