LITTLE ROCK, AR – Look in the medicine cabinets of many homes and you are likely to find out-of-date prescription medicines sitting on the shelves. However, unused and unwanted prescription drugs pose a danger to consumers, as they can all too easily fall into the hands of children or persons who will abuse them.
In fact, prescription drug abuse across the country is increasing rapidly. In Arkansas, the statistics are particularly alarming.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Arkansas leads the nation in the rate of teenagers who abuse prescription pain medications. According to the 2010 Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment Survey, close to one in five Arkansas high school students have abused prescription drugs by the time they reach their senior year.
“The growing problem of prescription drug abuse is why consumers need to make sure they get rid of any unused medication that they no longer need take,” said Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. Because many Arkansans are unsure of how to dispose of these drugs in an environmentally safe way, McDaniel’s office today issued this consumer alert to help Arkansans know how to deal with unused prescription drugs.
Prescription medicine should not be tossed in the trash or flushed down the toilet, as both of those methods pose health and safety hazards.
Instead, to safely dispose of prescription drugs, deliver them to law authorities at permanent disposal sites or at special events such as the April 30th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is offering disposal sites in communities across the state. A complete list of collection sites for the 2011 Take-Back Day as well as permanent, year-round collection sites is available at www.artakeback.org.
You may also call your local sheriff’s office or police department for assistance with disposal if your are unable to deliver the drugs to a collection site.
For other questions concerning Drug Take-Back Day the collection of prescription drugs, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (501) 682-2341, toll-free at (800) 482-8982 or visit online at www.ArkansasAG.org.