The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department is proud to partner with Texarkana Emergency Center in an effort to remove unused and out of date prescription medicines from your homes. For several years the Miller County Sheriff’s Office has maintained a prescription medication drop off box in front of the Sheriff’s Department. Last year, law enforcement officials were able to return more than 230 pounds of unused and out of date prescriptions for destruction. Due to this success, Dr. Matt Young of the Texarkana Emergency Center, invested in two additional drug take back boxes for Texarkana. One box has been placed behind the Bi State Justice Center at 100 N. State Line Ave., Texarkana, Arkansas and another outside the Texarkana Emergency Center, 4646 Cowhorn Creek Rd., Texarkana, Texas. These boxes are regularly checked and the contents are immediately packaged for destruction.
It is important to know that law enforcement is only interested in the removal of unused and/or outdated medications from the homes of our citizens. It matters not whose name is on the prescription, by whom it was prescribed, where it was prescribed, or where you reside. We stress that it makes no difference if you live in Texas or Arkansas. We take back all medications, no questions asked. You can remove the label if you desire but it’s not necessary. We ask that you do not deposit needles or “sharps” without a cap. If you would like to personally drop your medications off to law enforcement, the next scheduled National Take Back Initiative is scheduled for April 28th, 2018 at the Miller County Sheriff’s Office on East Street in Texarkana.
Why participate in this proactive effort to remove unused prescription medications from your home? 42% - that is the percent of teenagers who have abused or misused a prescription drug obtained them from their parent’s medicine cabinet, and 64 percent of teenagers (age 12-17) that have abused prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives. About two-thirds of all prescription drugs (which also include stimulants such as Adderall and depressants like Ativan) illegally obtained are taken from people’s homes and not pharmacies or off the street.
Another reason to participate is because leftover medicine is toxic waste. It poses a danger to people, pets, and the environment if it’s not disposed of properly. If flushed or thrown away it can get into the waterways, affecting our drinking water. Just as we don’t put used motor oil or leftover paint thinner in the trash, we should not put toxic leftover medicines in the garbage. Unwanted medicines should be disposed of properly like other household hazardous waste.
According to Artakeback.org, Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S., surpassing vehicle fatality accidents by nearly 18,000 deaths! With your assistance - WE are going to change this statistic!
Twice a year (through partnerships with Rotary Clubs, Prevention Resource Centers, the Department of Health and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency) law-enforcement agencies throughout Arkansas host Drug-Take-Back events (a.k.a. Operation Medicine Cabinet) at various locations in an effort to not only to get the public to dispose of unused or expired medications, but to educate as many people as possible about the dangers prescription medications can pose. With many law enforcement agencies, and other facilities, having 24-hour secure drop boxes, some collection sites are always available.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “the United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.” More persons died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record. The CDC also states that since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin). Opioid deaths have spiked from below 5,000 in the year 2000 to nearly 30,000 in 2014. In 2014, opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths, or 61% of all drug overdose deaths; the rate of opioid overdoses has tripled since 2000.
You can learn more about this program by visiting www.artakeback.org or on Facebook by searching Arkansas Take Back or Arkansas Drug take Back.
Again we thank Texarkana Emergency Center for their continuous dedicated support to our community.