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story.lead_photo.caption Prescription drugs are displayed in a glass flask in this July 6, 2017, file photo. (AP / Rick Bowmer )

The Jefferson County sheriff's office, Tri-County Drug Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration invite residents to safely dispose of unwanted and expired medicines during Arkansas' Drug Takeback Day.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Saturday.

Also partnering with these agencies is the Community Empowerment Council Inc., a registered substance abuse prevention provider in Arkansas for Region 12. Region 12 includes Arkansas, Cleveland, Grant, Lincoln and Jefferson counties, according to a news release.

The agencies are giving the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs that are expired, unused and unwanted.

"It is better and safer to bring the prescription drugs to us," said Capt. Yohance Brunson. "Do not flush prescription drugs."

Next Saturday, residents are asked to take medications for disposal to Super 1 Foods, 2800 S. Hazel St. in Pine Bluff. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

While the agencies accept pills or patches, they cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps.

Due to covid-19, officials are taking safety precautions. Residents should wear masks and remain in their vehicles. A deputy or volunteer will retrieve the medications from them, according to the release.

"The Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative addresses an on-going public safety and public health issue," said Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr.

"A great number of people in our community have been directly or indirectly affected by prescription drug abuse and misuse, and this event allows local residents to be part of the solution. Disposing of unused or unwanted medications in a safe and secure environment is a critical step in fighting this devastating public safety health problem," Woods said.


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