Area residents are encouraged to empty their homes of outdated and unused pharmaceutical medications and bring them to the National Prescription Drug Take Back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30. The event will be held at the following locations: Hot Springs Police Department, 641 Malvern Avenue; Garland County Sheriff’s Office, 525 Ouachita Avenue; and Hot Springs Village Police Department, 133 Calella Drive, Hot Springs Village. After the event, the Hot Springs Police Department will continue to offer a public dropbox weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the police station lobby.
Parents, relatives, guardians, and trusted adults provide the first line of defense in protecting loved ones from the dangers of prescription drug abuse, making it vital to properly monitor, secure, and dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Every day, more than 2,200 teenagers abuse prescription medication for the first time. More than half of teens obtain medications from friends and family. According to the 2015-2016 Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment Survey, 21% of high school seniors in Garland County have abused prescription drugs. The numbers show a slight decrease from the previous year, showing that prevention efforts are helping.
In conjunction with the take back event, the Hot Springs Public Information Department will air a related City News report featuring Cpl. Kirk Zaner of the Hot Springs Police Department throughout next week at the top of even-numbered hours on City12, Hot Springs’ government access channel on Resort Television Cable. The report will be followed by “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict.” The documentary, released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), aims to educate students and young adults about the realities of prescription drug and heroin abuse.