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Record number of pills turned in

Maumelle residents turned out last Saturday for the Prescription Drug Take Back program and brought with them record numbers of unwanted prescription drugs to turn in.

Sgt. Chris Lester said the Maumelle police collected more than 111 pounds of prescription drugs during the event. He said that will make a big dent in the number of prescription drugs that fall within the hands of people who abuse them or attempt to sell them.

Plus, he noted it will keep that much chemical compounds out of of landfills and ultimately our water supply.

At least 115 law enforcement agencies around the state collected prescription drugs in similar events.

Fran Flener, Arkansas’ Drug Director, also called the Drug Czar said although Arkansas is one of the least populated states in our region, we take back more drugs than Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi combined.

Since the program began here in 2010, 23 and one-half tons or around 66 million pills have been turned in just in Arkansas, Flener said.

Although that’s an important start, she noted Arkansas is one of the top three states in the nation for prescription drug abuse among teenagers.

“Medication abuse is still the number one cause of drug overdoses,” Flener said.

Flener noted Maumelle has been one of the states top collection sites since the program began and thanked the Maumelle Police Department for its efforts to protect the youth of Maumelle since its primarily young people who are the victims of the majority of abuse.

The program is jointly sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

U. S. Attorney Chris Thyer has also made prescription drug abuse a high priority of his agency and the Justice Department agencies he works with in the state.

Maumelle police chief Sam Williams thanked the residents of Maumelle whom he said support everything the police department gets involved with.

He said the support should translate into fewer drug abuse cases and fewer juveniles with drug issues.

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