Press Releases

WASHINGTON—In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) encouraged Arkansans to safely dispose of expired, unused and unnecessary medications by participating in the Arkansas Take Back Day on April 28 and called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release critical funds that help local law enforcement agencies fight the opioid epidemic.

On April 28, law enforcement agencies across the state will host events to collect prescription drugs as part of the nationwide initiative, National Drug Take Back Day, to return and dispose of prescription drugs and curb their abuse. Arkansans can find the nearest collection site to them by visiting: http://www.artakeback.org/search-collection-sites 

“Despite our state’s modest population, Arkansas ranks thirteenth in the nation in total weight collected over the course of 14 statewide take-back events. These events have produced the return of almost 132 tons of unneeded medications, which amounts to over 400 million pills. This campaign is clearly succeeding at getting unnecessary prescription drugs out of circulation and helping break the cycle of addiction in our communities. I encourage Arkansans to once again participate in this worthwhile event in full force this year,” Boozman said. 

Boozman highlighted federal efforts to help address the opioid crisis—including the additional resources in the latest funding bill—but noted a way that Washington is hurting those fighting the epidemic at the local level. 

DOJ is withholding funds from the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, the largest source of federal justice funding to help provide law enforcement officers with the tools and training to protect our communities. The program was created more than a decade ago to help states and local law enforcement agencies purchase essential equipment and support drug treatment and enforcement activities. 

“Currently, DOJ is denying every state access to those funds because some communities and states are violating federal immigration law. This leaves states, like Arkansas, scrambling to continue funding crucial safety programs. Arkansas is eligible for more than $2 million in funding from Fiscal Year 2017 to help fund multi-jurisdictional programs like Drug Task Forces. I urge DOJ to rectify this situation quickly. With each passing day that local law enforcement is being denied these resources, lives—that could be saved—are lost,” Boozman said.