ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- Senator John Boozman was at Harps Food Store in Fayetteville on Saturday (Oct. 28) for the DEA's "National Prescription Drug Take Back Day."
It's a way to safely dispose of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse and medications.
Boozeman wanted people to know that this isn't the only chance to step up and drop off unwanted or expired medications.
"They [people] can drop it off at the police department, they can call their local police department and ask for a convenient site, so they we can actually get rid of this stuff all year round."
In Rogers, more than 107 pounds of medication were discarded at the police department.
Local law enforcement had several locations where medications could be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Sebastian County Sheriff's Office - 800 South A Street, Fort Smith.
- Fort Smith Police Department - 100 South 10th Street, Fort Smith.
- Crawford County Sheriff's Office - 4235 Alma Hwy., Van Buren.
- Van Buren Police Department - 111 South 11th Street, Van Buren. (To date this year 195 lbs of medications).
- Fayetteville Police Department - 1274 N. Colorado Dr., Fayetteville.
- Rogers Police Department - 1905 S. Dixieland, Rogers. (107 pounds of medication received).
According to the website, the DEA's Take Back Day provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.
From "Arkansas Drug Take Back Day" Facebook page:
Governor Asa Hutchinson praised the Prescription Take Back program as “an easy way for us to battle drug abuse and accidental poisonings. Just drop the unused medicine in a box at one of the officially designated Take Back sites, no questions asked. Unused prescription medicine, especially opioid pain killers, can be a temptation to some and pose a risk of accidental poisoning for children and senior citizens. I am grateful for the energy that Director Lane and law-enforcement agencies all over the state invest in the health of Arkansans with this program.”
Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S., exceeding vehicle fatalities by 50 percent. More than 143 people in America die each day due to a drug overdose. In Arkansas, 1,067 people have died from a drug overdose in a 3-year span (319 in 2013, 356 in 2014, and 392 in 2015). Arkansas is also in the top 20 percent of states that prescribe the most painkillers per capita. It is these facts that led to the death of Nicholas Kellar on April 14, 2017, a life cut too short by prescription drug abuse, and it is also a familiar story for too many families in the growing trend of opioid addiction leading to heroin addiction, that too often causes death.
This Arkansas Drug-Take-Back day is dedicated to the memory of Nicholas “Cheezy” Alexander Kellar who was born January 7, 1994 in Fort Gordon, Georgia. He was only 23 when he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose following a long, hard battle with addiction. He was the son of Rory and Suzanne Tipton.