Attorney General Alerts

    Prescription Drug Take Backs Oct. 22 Across Arkansas

    October 12, 2016

    The American Society of Addiction Medicine estimates 1.9 million Americans abuse prescription pain relievers annually, with nearly 19,000 lethal overdoses directly related to prescription pain relievers in 2014. The recent report also states that most adolescents who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from a friend or relative, oftentimes from a family medicine cabinet.

    But concerns about opioid abuse go beyond painkillers because opioids are considered a gateway drug. Four in five new heroin users started abusing drugs by misusing prescription painkillers, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

    Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to encourage Arkansans to clean out their medicine cabinets and bring any unused or expired medications to one of the more than 100 Prescription Drug Take Back Day drop-off locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.

    To find event sites and year-round drop-off locations near you, go to The Attorney General’s office also hosts take back events at mobile offices around the State.

    “Prescription Drug Take Back Day allows Arkansans to drop off any unwanted medications, no questions asked, for proper disposal,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It can be dangerous to keep unused prescription medications. These pills need to be properly disposed of to avoid them falling into the wrong hands and harming loved ones or the environment. I encourage all Arkansans to clean out their medicine cabinets and participate in the take back day.”

    Attorney General Rutledge released the following list of medications that will be accepted at these events across the State.

    • Opioids, such as OxyContin
    • Stimulants, such as Adderall
    • Depressants, such as Ativan
    • Other prescription medications
    • Over-the-counter medicines
    • Vitamins
    • Pet medicines
    • Medicated ointments and lotions
    • Inhalers
    • Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces)
    • Medicine samples

    Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.

    Properly destroying these medications protects the environment. Medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting waters, which could contaminate food and water supplies. Many medicines are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems. Turning over these medications at Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors or pets, as well as reduces the risk of drug abuse.

    Rutledge is partnering with the Arkansas Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, Office of the State Drug Director, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and over 130 additional law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations and public health providers who comprise the Arkansas Prescription Drug Coalition planning the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Summit scheduled Thursday, Nov. 3 in Little Rock.

    For more information about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or or visit or

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