This is the perfect opportunity for individuals and families to dispose of unused or outdated prescription drugs that remain in medicine cabinets and drawers within most homes. This program is also for over-the-counter drugs that are either unwanted or unused.
The nationwide effort is aimed at helping prevent the theft of unneeded prescription drugs from home as well as to combat potential abuse by those who steal, sell or abuse the drugs.
The following are some alarming facts provided by Arkansas Matters:
* Arkansas has the worst teen prescription pain reliever abuse problem in the entire United States.
* By the time Arkansas high school students have reached their senior year, 22 percent have abused prescription drugs.
*Close to 10 percent of Arkansas high school seniors reported non-medical use of prescription drugs in the past 30 days.
*The rate of past 30-day sedative use among Arkansas seniors is roughly three times the national rate.
*Arkansas sixth graders abuse prescription drugs more than any other substance except alcohol and cigarettes.
* Over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse is rapidly increasing in earlier grades and at a rate comparable to, but faster than, alcohol and cigarettes.
* Arkansas has consistently ranked among the 10 states with the highest rate of non-medical use of pain relievers by 12 to 20-year-old individuals since state estimates of this measure first began in 2002.
*Nationwide, prescription pain relievers have more first-time users than any illicit drug, including marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, inhalants, LSD, meth, heroin and PCP.
* Seven of the 10 drugs most abused by high school seniors are prescription or over-the-counter drugs acquired primarily from teens' friends or relatives.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative is a collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies that aims to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from the nation's homes.
The National Prescription Take Back Day will be held Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at various locations in Oregon, Fulton, Sharp and Izard counties. The service is free and anonymous. There will be no questions asked of those who bring medications to the disposal site.
In Thayer, Mo., Prescription Take Back Day will be held at the Thayer Police Department.
In Fulton County, there will be collections at the Mammoth Spring Fire Department, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Salem, the Viola Fire Department, and the Cherokee Village Police Department.
In Sharp County, the locations will be the front parking lot of the Sharp County Sheriff's Department, Evening Shade School, Cherokee Village Police Department parking lot and Hardy Fire Station.
In Izard County, Calico Rock United Methodist Church, Izard County Sheriff's Department in Melbourne, Horseshoe Bend Police Department and at Old Millcrest Station in Melbourne.
Again, the public is urged to bring outdated or no longer used prescription medication or over-the-counter medicines to any of the drop off points. A police officer will be on site at all locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer any questions anyone may have regarding the project.
All departments encourage citizens to participate in this free initiative in which no personal information is required.
All medicines collected will be destroyed in a safe, legal and environmentally friendly manner.