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Drug Abuse

The Prairie County Sheriffs Department has taken an aggressive approach to battle the current drug abuse situation in the county.  Agencies have determined that prescription medication abuse is a rising problem in many communities. 

The sheriff's department has teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Arkansas State Drug Directors office in a national "Take Back" effort. Many collection sites have been established to take back any unused or expired prescription medications. It has been determined that many of our teenagers have been exposed to prescription medications that may have been leftover in their own homes. This is one source for many of the prescription medications that are currently being abused.

  • In early 2010, a coalition led by state then Drug Director Fran Flenor, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, U.S. Attorneys Jake Duke and Debbie Groom, and federal, state, and local agencies, law enforcement, prevention coalitions, businesses, media organizations, community organizations and concerned citizens- launched an ongoing and all-encompassing statewide effort to educate citizens to "Monitor, Secure and Dispose" of their prescription medications.

  • In order to provide a means for citizens to legally discard their unneeded medications in an environmentally safe manner and to keep them out of the hands of young people and off the streets, Arkansas law enforcement agencies were encouraged to develop prescription drug return programs in their local jurisdictions. To assist them, a take-back planning toolkit was developed by the Arkansas Sheriffs Association, the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Arkansas State Police, the Benton Police Department, the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute, the Office of Drug Director and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and then distributed them to over one thousand law enforcement agencies and executives across the state.

  • The coalition planned and assisted with all aspects of Arkansas's participation in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's inaugural National Prescription Take-Back Initiative, which was held on Saturday, Sept. 25 2010. A statewide goal of one million returned pills was set. Where many Arkansas law enforcement agencies had previously held local take-back events, September 25, 2010 marked the first, comprehensive, coordinated multi-agency statewide take-back effort.

  • Due to the commitment, dedication and effort of the Arkansas law enforcement community and the multi-agency coalition and excellent participation by Arkansans everywhere, the "take-back" was successful above and beyond all previous expectations.

  • Arkansas had three times the national average of registered law enforcement agencies. One hundred and eighty-six different agencies in Arkansas registered collection sites.

  • Arkansas had two times the national average of registered collection sites. (2010)

  • Over two-and-a-half tons of pills were collected -- estimated to be between seven to nine million pills.

  • Most importantly the pills collected will never be abused, accidently ingested, used in a crime, cause a traffic accident or contribute to the pollution of Arkansas waterways.

  • Please check for upcoming take back initiative dates