FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansans returned nearly 27,000 pounds of medications on October 29, the state’s 24th semi-annual Arkansas Drug Take Back Day.

“It’s a blessing that Arkansans are continuing to respond to this program,” said Arkansas Drug Director Boyce Hamlet. “The rain didn’t slow them down and it shows that Arkansans are dedicated to making their homes and communities safer. Their act of dropping off the medications at the 300 plus locations we had across the state on Saturday will in turn save numerous lives and it protects the environment.”

“Hats off to all the great partners and participants that make this possible every year,” added Kirk Lane, Director of Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership. “We have achieved another milestone is this invaluable program that helps so many protect their households and communities.”

DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Jarad Harper, said drug poisoning is a leading cause of death for Americans 18-45, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It causes more deaths than COVID-19, gun violence, suicide or car accidents, the CDC said.

ASAC Harper applauded the collective effort by all Arkansans and said that “countless lives are being saved in Arkansas and beyond” by taking these unwanted and unneeded medications out of homes. Since the first Arkansas Drug Take Back Day on September 25, 2010, Arkansas has collected a total of 522,201 pounds (261.1 tons) of medications.

All the medications collected have been transported by the Arkansas National Guard to a commercial facility where they are destroyed in an environmentally safe method, according to the DEA.

The top 10 collection sites from the Arkansas Drug Take Back Day were:

  1. Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office – 4,617 pounds
  2. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office – 2,064 pounds
  3. Washington County Sheriff’s Office – 1,055 pounds
  4. Baxter County Sheriff’s Office – 1,000 pounds
  5. Jonesboro Police Department – 808 pounds
  6. Benton County Sheriff’s Office – 800 pounds
  7. Benton Police Department – 780 pounds
  8. Bi-State Drug Task Force (Miller County) – 776 pounds
  9. Grant County Sheriff’s Office – 705 pounds
  10. Bella Vista Police Department – 649 pounds

Prescription medicines are toxic waste and pose a danger to people, pets, and the environment. Dispose of expired & unneeded medications in an environmentally save method by taking them to any of the 270 permanent drop box locations in Arkansas.

To find a location, visit www.artakeback.org, click on the Collection Sites tab and enter a zip code.