Law enforcement agencies across the state will be collecting old or expired prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, as part of the 14th National Drug Take Back Event. All locations can be easily found at www.artakeback.org by left-clicking on the Collection Sites/Events & Dropboxes tab, which includes a Google map and search by Zipcode or Collection Site Name.
Governor Asa Hutchinson praised the Prescription Take Back program as “an easy way for us to battle drug abuse and accidental poisonings. Just drop the unused medicine in a box at one of the officially designated Take Back sites, no questions asked. Unused prescription medicine, especially opioid pain killers, can be a temptation to some and pose a risk of accidental poisoning for children and senior citizens. I am grateful for the energy that Director Lane and law-enforcement agencies all over the state invest in the health of Arkansans with this program.”
Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S., exceeding vehicle fatalities by 50 percent. More than 143 people in America die each day due to a drug overdose. In Arkansas, 1,067 people have died from a drug overdose in a 3-year span (319 in 2013, 356 in 2014, and 392 in 2015). Arkansas is also in the top 20 percent of states that prescribe the most painkillers per capita. It is these facts that led to the death of Nicholas Kellar on April 14, 2017, a life cut too short by prescription drug abuse, and it is also a familiar story for too many families in the growing trend of opioid addiction leading to heroin addiction, that too often causes death.
This Arkansas Drug-Take-Back day is dedicated to the memory of Nicholas “Cheezy” Alexander Kellar who was born January 7, 1994 in Fort Gordon, Georgia. He was only 23 when he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose following a long, hard battle with addiction. He was the son of Rory and Suzanne Tipton.