Northwest Arkansans do their part in Prescription Drug Takeback Day


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Common painkillers can relieve post-procedure pain and can go a long way in helping someone feel like himself or herself again. When abused, they can ruin one’s life. That’s why some groups say Prescription Drug Takeback Day could do something positive.

Berenice Torres stopped by the Walmart on Martin Luther King Blvd. in Fayetteville, and she dropped off some medicine she was no longer using. A tent was set up where an officer and pharmacy intern allowed people to place their medication in a bin.

“I saw the sign, and I remembered that I had some prescriptions for my wisdom teeth,” Torres said. “I didn’t use them.”

Nationwide, people were encouraged to drop off unused or overprescribed medicines at locations accepting them, including a number of locations in Northwest Arkansas.

Kyle Sylvester is a member of Arkansas’ opioid task force and Washington Co.’s Circuit Clerk, and he said these programs give the community a chance to tackle a national crisis.

“I’ve got some firsthand experience with narcotics use, dealing with that on a daily basis,” Sylvester said.

Decades in law enforcement gave Sylvester a unique perspective on the problem, and his task force’s work led to the creation of crisis stabilization units and lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies.

“If everybody locks arms and meets it head on, we will be successful,” Sylvester said

Sylvester said the problem can’t totally be eliminated, but community involvement sheds light on a problem that could be sitting in the back of one’s cabinet.

“I don’t think it’ll ever be completely successful because you still have people making poor decisions, but we can sure take a bite out of it,” Sylvester said.

That’s exactly what Torres hopes will happen.

“I’m a nurse, so I know what side effects or problems overdosing can cause,” Torres said. “I’ve seen it in the hospital multiple times.”

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