Office of the Drug Director

Office of the Drug Director

Office of the Drug Director


October 20, 2011

Contact: Steve Varady, 501-618-8693


arkansas to Take PARt in THIRD DEA

National prescription Drug take back day

LITTLE ROCK – On Saturday, October 29, 2011, as part of a national effort by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Arkansaswill participate in its third statewide Prescription Drug Take Back Day. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Arkansans can return their unused, expired, and unwanted medicationsto the more than one hundred law enforcement agencies hosting collection sites across the state. The serviceisfree and anonymous, with no questions asked. Thosewho would like to participate can locate the site closest or most convenient to them by visiting and searching by their address or zip code.Some sites may offer extended hours.

“Preventing prescription abuse starts in everyone’s home,” said State Drug Director Fran Flener. “Disposing of the medications that you no longer need is an excellent way to guarantee that they never fall into the hands of young people or others who might abuse them.I would like to encourage everyone in Arkansas to take advantage of this opportunity and participate on October 29.”

In April, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released a four-part national strategy toreduce prescription drugmisuseand abuse. A key component of the strategy is creatingsecure, convenient, and environmentally responsible disposal methods to remove expired, unused, or unneeded medications from homes.

“Prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest-growing drug problems in the country,” ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske said. “Data show that seventy percent of the people who abuse prescription drugs get them from the medicine cabinets of friends or family members, which is why properly disposing of unwanted prescription drugs is more important than ever”.

As recently as 2007, according to ONDCP and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Arkansas ranked number one in youth prescription pain medicationabuse. In the past two years, however, results from the Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment Student Survey show that prescription drug abuse by Arkansas students has dropped each year, in each grade, and in each category measured. Disposing of unused or unneeded medications is an easy way to help that number to continue to decline.

In 2010, the Office of the Drug Director and the Attorney General’s Office launched the “Monitor, Secure, Dispose” campaign against prescription drug abuse in Arkansas. As part of this campaign, Arkansas participated the two prior DEA Prescription Take Back Days and collected close to six-and-a-half tons of drugs (approximately seventeen to nineteen million pills). The pills collected during the previous Take Back Days will never be abused or cause an overdose.

The DEA Little Rock Field Office, the Office of the Drug Director, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, the Department of Human Servicesand more than one hundred thirty additional government agencies, community organizations, public health providers, and law enforcement agencies have partnered for the initiative.

For more information on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in Arkansas, please visit



#1 StatePolicePlazaLittle Rock, AR 72209 501-618-8693