Arkansans continue to entrust in the DEA Drug Take Back Day program leading the state to another top 10 completion in multiple categories nationally, including ranking third in grand total pounds per person. The state ranks fifth nationally in pounds per person for the Drug Take Back Day on April 24, 2021, but in the total of all 21 Drug Take Back Day events, the state ranks third in pounds per person, behind first place Maine and second place Wisconsin.
Arkansas ranks fifth in the amount of law enforcement agencies (207) who participated in the April 24, 2021, Drug Take Back Day, an increase from 197 and sixth rank during the October 24, 2020, Drug Take Back Day event. The state ranks 15th in the number of collection sites (131) for the April 24, 2021, Drug Take Back Day, an increase of five spots from the 20th rank during the October 2020 Drug Take Back Day, which the DEA totaled 91 sites (the DEA statistic doesn’t include the 270 permanent drop box locations where many Drug Take Back Day events were held.)
Arkansas totaled 28,705 pounds (14.35 tons) of mediations collected from the April 24, 2021, Drug Take Back Day, which is 9th nationally. In all 21 Drug Take Back events dating back to September 25, 2010, Arkansas has collected 442,162 pounds (221 tons) and consecutively ranks in the top 15 in numerous Drug Take Back Day event categories, despite ranking 34th in U.S. population (based on the 2020 U.S. Census).
Nationally, the U.S. collected 839,543 pounds (420 tons) of medications on April 24, 2021. Since 2010, the DEA Drug Take Back Day program has collected 14,524,391 pounds (7,262 tons) of medications. A total of 4,425 law enforcement agencies participated nationally in the April 24, 2021, Drug Take Back Day and there were 5,060 collection sites nationwide, according to the DEA.
Arkansas continues to lead the four-state DEA region (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi) accounting for 63% of medications collected during the April 24, 2021, Drug Take Back Day and 65% total of all 21 Drug Take Back Day events. Arkansas also averages more participating law enforcement agencies than the other three states combined.
All medications collected are destroyed at environmentally safe facilities across the United States. Prescription medicines are toxic waste and pose a danger to people, pets, and the environment if they are not disposed of properly. Medicines flushed or poured down the drain ends up in the waterways, affecting our drinking water. More than half of the 444 reported drug overdose deaths in Arkansas in 2018 involved opioid medications and more than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2019. Always monitor and secure all medications, and when they are ready to be disposed of, do so in an environmentally safe method by taking them to any of the 270 permanent drop box locations in Arkansas.