Izard County Sheriff’s Department collects 295 lbs. of unused prescription medication

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Arkansas Prescription Drug Take Back program was held in conjunction with the National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24.

In Arkansas, local sheriff’s offices encouraged residents to drop off old/unused medications. The Izard County Sheriff’s Department was one of those participants.

“This gave the citizens the opportunity to dispose of potentially dangerous, expired, unused or otherwise unwanted prescription medications in a safe way,” said Izard County Sheriff Chief Deputy Charley Melton. Collected on Oct. 24 were 295 pounds of unused medications. The medications will be properly disposed.

The drop box may be used at any time to drop off unused prescription medications. There are boxes located at the Izard County Sheriff’s Department in Melbourne and the Sheriff’s Department Sub-Station in Horseshoe Bend.

Melton reminds the public no syringes, needles or other sharps, inhalers, aerosol cans, mercury thermometer, and iodine-containing medications are allowed in the drop boxes.

Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is also home to a secure drop box, which was designed into the building plans and is a permanent fixture.

Though Fulton County didn’t advertise for the event, Sheriff Al Roork said the department’s box is used a regular basis and can hold up to 200 pounds.

In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) began the Drug Take Back program to fight opioid abuse, a prominent problem within the United States. The disposal service is free and anonymous for consumers, with no questions asked. However, it is important to remember that needles, sharps, asthma inhalers and illicit drugs are not accepted at the drop box.

According to drugs.com, opioid abuse is at, “epidemic levels in the U.S. and a top public health concern. The DEA’s “take-back” initiative is one of several strategies under the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion in the United States.”

Even though prescription medications play a crucial role in the health of millions of Americans, expired medications or unused drugs often stay in the back of cabinets for months or even years, according to drugs.com. These expired drugs can pose significant health to toddlers, teens and even family pets who may inadvertently consume medications. Some medications are so potent, one dose could be fatal if accidentally ingested.

Also, there are other important safety issues. The misuse of prescription narcotic drugs has increasingly become a major problem in the local community, as well as on a national level. The amount of crime that has increased due to the prescription drug abuse is at an all time high. Several prescription drug related crimes result in a person taking another person’s prescribed opioids.

These types of program are important in the sense that they can help reduce prescription drug related abuse, as well as the crime that can result from the use of narcotic drugs.

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