Gov. Hutchinson highlights ways Arkansas is reducing addiction


In his weekly radio address, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently highlighted ways the state is addressing and slowing drug addiction rates.

“We are seeking to raise awareness and prevent new victims from falling prey to addiction, and we want to ensure access to treatment for those who have,” Hutchinson said. “We want to reinforce our commitment to holding those who contribute to this epidemic accountable. This is a tough topic to talk about, but we must if we are to slow this epidemic.”

The number of overdose deaths in the state dropped 17 percent from 2019, making Arkansas’ rate of reduction second-best in the United States.

Hutchinson proclaimed the week of Oct. 23 National Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 24 as Drug Take Back Day and Oct. 28 as Chasing the Dragon: Opioid Awareness Day in Arkansas.

Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane will oversee Drug Take Back Day. Over the past decade, more than 200 tons of unused and out-of-date medicines were collected for disposal.

Chasing the Dragon: Opioid Awareness Day in Arkansas is a project led by the FBI’s Little Rock field office that coordinates the viewing of Chasing the Dragon, a frank DEA-FBI documentary about drug use, in schools.

The state received a $21 million federal grant in September to expand substance-abuse-treatment programs.