Arkansas’ 22nd Drug Take Back is set for Saturday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s department will be participating, with a take-back site at Walmart on Highway 65.

The sheriff’s department site will be one of 300 throughout the state, to encourage residents to get rid of expired or no-longer needed prescriptions.

From the Arkansas State Police: “The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from their homes. The event, in partnership with the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, provides an opportunity for communities to address substance use disorder and overdose deaths.

Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 93,331 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2020, an increase of 29.4 percent from the 72,151 deaths predicted in 2019. In Arkansas, 547 people died from a drug overdose death in 2020.

‘The Arkansas Drug Take Back Program is an educational program to encourage all citizens to keep their households safe,’ Kirk Lane, Arkansas Drug Director said. ‘The more we can get people to monitor, secure and properly dispose of the medications, the more we can save lives through less accessibility of those that can intentionally or unintentionally abuse or misuse them.’”

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