Seventy-thousand Americans die from drug overdoses every year. Saturday, April 27, thousands of police departments around the country worked to prevent more deaths by collecting unused or expired prescription drugs.
“Unfortunately we lose about an Arkansan a day to a drug overdose,” says Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more Americans die from drug overdose every year than in the Vietnam War. Northwest Arkansans are taking notice of the epidemic.
“As soon as we showed up at Walmart we just started receiving multiple, multiple, multiple customers,” says Sergeant Tony Murphy from the Fayetteville Police Department.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day gives thousands of Northwest Arkansans the opportunity to take expired and unused drugs out of their homes, and to police departments where they can be disposed of and protected from being abused.
“We’ll dispose of them properly, not flushing them down the toilet or anything like that where these narcotics and drugs can get into our water supply,” says Murphy.
“I remember the first time that I cleaned up my medicine cabinet at home. I had a ziplock bag full of over the counter meds and expired prescription meds. A gallon sized ziplock bag in my home was unimaginable to me.” says Carrie Warren, Speakup About Drugs representative.
Warren is standing alongside law enforcement to make sure another Arkansan doesn’t lose a loved one to drugs as she did.
“I lost my son Matt to overdose,” says Warren.
Now she stands out here in the hope of saving a life.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for college kids in this area to get their hands on party drugs. With this Drug Take Back that we’re doing today, it’s saving even little ones that might happen across a pill bottle on a countertop. There’s just strength in numbers in everything we’re doing. We’re reaching out, we’re educating, we’re raising awareness, we are getting in the community because we’ve got to. We’re saving lives, that’s where it’s at,” says Warren.
The Fayetteville Police Department collected a total of 87.6 pounds of unused or expired prescriptions on Drug Take Back Day.