JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The national annual Prescription Drug Take Back Day took place Saturday, a day geared toward helping limit children's access to prescription drugs by installing drop off boxes throughout the community.
Drop boxes were set up at every local police station. In 2012, Jonesboro Police Department reported about 680 pounds of prescription narcotics in their drop box.
"These pills are destroying children, we have hit epidemic rates across the country and in Craighead County for kids addicted to pain medicines," said Skip Mooney, president of the Out of the Dark organization. Out of the Dark is a co-sponsor of Take Back Day.
A recent study revealed that teen misuse and abuse of prescription medication is up 33 percent since 2008. Having these drop off locations give people in the community a chance to properly dispose of their medications and make sure they don't end up in the hands of their kids.
"What's really important is these drugs , once we dispose of them, they will never be involved in criminal activities in our community, they will not be involved in the deaths of our children and adults or addiction issues that so may people are suffering from," Mooney said.
At the Jonesboro Police Department, there is a 24/7 drive-by drop box. Mooney said having these drop boxes make sure these drugs don't end up on the street.
"A lot of these pills get into our natural waterway and our drinking tables so it's very important to try to get this pills that are not being used out of the home, it's also very important to secure them just like loaded guns in your home," he said.
Arkansas has one of the nation's highest rates of pain reliever abuse among 12 to 25 years olds.
"It provides awareness to parents about pain narcotics and some of these prescription drugs and what they are doing," Mooney said.
Other sponsors of today's event were Area Tech Center, Out of the dark, and The Rotary Club of Jonesboro.