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How Drug Take Back Day started and the man behind it

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) -The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday. A day to give people a chance to safely get rid of unwanted or unused prescription drugs.

What you may not know is the program started in the small town of Benton, Arkansas back in 2010. The man who started the Drug Take Back day is Russell Goodwin. His inspiration came from his studying of medication side effects while coaching baseball. “I got interested and just gained knowledge about side effects.”

After Goodwin witnessed one boy he coached get hooked on drugs, he knew something needed to be done. Goodwin said at that time there were no drug enforcement officers and finding help was difficult. He said reaching out to public officials did not work and no one took an interest. “I couldn’t get anybody to help me. Nobody understood.”

Goodwin did not give up. Eventually, he found help in Deputy Sheriff Kirk Lane, who is now the drug director in Arkansas. “We started the Drug Take Back Program.”

Goodwin says they were able to go to schools and educate kids on the effects of prescription medication. The question was asked what to do with medication you have but no longer need. The idea of the Drug Take Back Box was born.

You can find them at most police stations, or look for one near you by clicking this link and searching for a location near you.

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