LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is reminding Arkansans about the importance of the upcoming Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 23rd. The biannual event is an opportunity for Arkansans to clean out their medicine cabinets, taking any unused or expired medications to one of the State’s more than 270 drop-off locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. At the April 2021 Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Arkansas collected the ninth largest amount of medications in the nation totaling over 28,705 lbs.
“Cleaning out medicine cabinets and turning in expired and unused medications to law enforcement during a Drug Take Back event can save lives,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “With overdoses on the rise during the pandemic, now more than ever we must continue to properly dispose of these prescription drugs.”
The event comes just after Attorney General Rutledge announced the state of Arkansas as well as cities and counties signed a memorandum of understanding which allocated the use of $216 million in national settlement funds from opioid manufacturers and distributors. This historic settlement in July 2021 provided needed relief to people across the country who are struggling with opioid addiction. The agreement includes Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – and Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured and marketed opioids.
The semi-annual event is put on by the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Aging, Adult, & Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, DEA, FBI, Office of the State Drug Director, University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute and over 207 additional law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations and public health providers.
The Take Back event will be held at various locations across the State but year-round locations are also available and can be found at ARTakeBack.org. Since the program began, more than 72 tons of medication have been collected in Arkansas, which is an estimated 201 million individual pills.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.