Drug take back nets nine tons of unwanted medications


LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ participation in the sixth National Prescription Take Back Initiative netted more than nine tons of unwanted and expired medications, officials said Thursday.

Participating law enforcement agencies, 122 in all, collected 18,764 pounds of medications during the event Saturday, the most ever collected in a single Arkansas Take Back event. The state Crime Lab estimated the number of pills collected at 26.1 million. Through six statewide take back events, Arkansas has collected over 33 tons of unneeded medications, officials said.

“The continued growth and success of our Take Backs reflect the great dedication that exists here in Arkansas to address prescription abuse and protect the environment, and we are very thankful to everyone who takes part in this,” said state Drug Director Fran Flener.
The Arkansas National Guard Counterdrug Program and federal Drug Enforcement Administration transported the collected medications to the Covanta Tulsa Renewable Energy facility where they were destroyed at no charge as a part of Covanta’s Prescription for Safety Program.
Arkansas’ participation was planned and coordinated by the DEA, the state drug director’s office, the state Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Arkansas National Guard, the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, the Department of Human Services, Arkansas Rotary Clubs and more than 30 other government agencies, community organizations and public health agencies.