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LITTLE ROCK - Arkansans safely disposed of more than 12,000 pounds of unwanted or expired medications on National Drug Take-Back Day, a record amount for the initiative, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced at a news conference today.

The record-breaking total for the fifth Drug Take-Back Day signifies the state's dedication to fighting prescription drug abuse, McDaniel said. The Attorney General was joined by federal, state and local law enforcement officials for the announcement of the yields for the event held Sept. 29.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Arkansas law enforcement agencies collected 12,042 pounds of pills on Sept. 29. The estimated number of pills collected that day was 16.8 million.

"Arkansas sets the standard for effectiveness and participation in these very important events combatting prescription drug abuse," McDaniel said. "Since the first Drug Take-Back Day in September 2010, Arkansans have disposed of nearly 66 million pills. Those pills will never harm our environment and never be abused. I am grateful to Arkansas residents for their commitment to this program."

Through five Take-Back events, Arkansas law enforcement agencies have collected and destroyed 47,352 pounds of expired, unused or unwanted pills. Arkansas leads its four-state region in participation, according to the DEA, accounting for 66.4 percent of the pills collected from Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana over the five events.

McDaniel asked Arkansans to dispose of any expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs at sponsored Take-Back events or at permanent collection sites across Arkansas. For a list of collection sites, visit www.artakeback.org.

The DEA sponsors the national Take-Back Initiative. In Arkansas, the Office of the Drug Director, the Attorney General's Office, the Arkansas National Guard, law enforcement agencies, the DEA, and more than 30 other government agencies, community organizations and public health agencies planned and coordinated the Sept. 29 event.


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