Arkansas DEA collects staggering amount of drugs for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 5:33 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 6:41 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - “And we did what I would say was a monumental take back here in Arkansas,” said Jared Harper, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Arkansas.

Harper says the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was a success for the state. The event encourages residents to discard unused prescription drugs by putting them in secure boxes. During the recent take back day, Arkansas collected more than 26,000 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs compared to just over 2,000 pounds collected in Louisiana.

“It all comes back to vested partnerships and relationships cultivated by law enforcement, our state and local partners and federal partners working together with the community,” Harper said.

A major partner for the drug take back event is Texarkana Emergency Center & Hospital. Led by Dr. Matt Young, this local hospital sponsors take back boxes in the area.

“It is a great way for us to get drugs off the street. They need to be disposed of properly and also, it helps with our law enforcement to know what is out there,” Dr. Young said.

DEA leaders say this large amount of drugs collected is a win for the State of Arkansas and its residents.

“All Arkansans coming together for one cause and that is to save lives, no doubt, save countless lives, not just in Arkansas, but beyond Arkansas,” Harper said.

The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was a success for the state.

“So it’s a way in our getting those pills off the street so they are not used and abused,” Dr. Young said.

Nationwide, more than 17 million pounds of prescription drugs have been collected since this program began in 2010.