LITTLE ROCK- Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statewide public service announcement (PSA) addressing the opioid epidemic that continues to devastate Arkansas. This announcement coincides with the first day of Red Ribbon Week as well as the Statewide Rx Drug Take Back Day occurring at 270 locations. Over the last several years, Rutledge has led the fight in Arkansas and around the nation combating the opioid epidemic by providing education, enforcement and litigation for communities and families.
“The opioid epidemic has devastated so many individuals in Arkansas, and it’s time to remind Arkansans how we can all do our part to combat this crisis,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I want Arkansans to know about all the opportunities that are available to them – whether it’s taking their unused prescription drugs to a take back site, or signing up for my office’s opioid summit, or many others. Together we will beat this opioid epidemic.”
Earlier this month, Rutledge stood with leaders from cities and counties across the State announcing the $216 million opioid settlement that will provide much 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 settlement will be utilized to combat the opioid addiction epidemic at the State, county and city levels.
Throughout her tenure, Attorney General Rutledge has partnered with state agencies and organizations to educate Arkansans on the harmful effects of opioid drugs. Rutledge annually hosts one of the largest drug abuse prevention summits each year to serve as a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, treatment specialists, pharmacists, educators and family members about the dangers of these drugs. The 2021 Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Tuesday, November 16 at the Rogers Convention Center. For more information visit the website here.
Attorney General Rutledge is also 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. 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.
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 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.