Benton badge 1The rate of deaths due to drug use continues to surge throughout every community in the U.S., with prescription drug abuse being the fastest rising form of drug abuse in America. In an effort to eradicate drug deaths and accidents the Benton Police Department is launching “Operation Spring Clean” that will focus on different enforcement and education activities to raise awareness about the damage drugs can cause in our community.

As a part of this initiative to make our city a safer community, we will be looking at various avenues to share information about the dangers associated with illicit drug use and resource information for those addicted to drugs on our social media outlets and website, Additionally, we will be conducting drug awareness programs throughout the month at various schools in the city.

As part of the initiative to dissuade drug use and abuse, the BNPD will take participating in Arkansas’s 12th Prescription Drug Take Back, Operation Medicine Cabinet, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30. There will be three drop-off locations for the event – Ferguson’s Furniture parking lot, located at 1200 Ferguson Drive in Benton; Hurricane Lake Estates Boat Ramp, located at 6015 Worth Ave E. in Benton; and prescriptions can be dropped into the 24/7 drop box located at the police department (114 S. East St.). Also, anyone that takes the time to stop by the event and drop off their old meds will be ‘rewarded’ with a coupon or gift card while supplies last.

More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record with the majority of the overdose deaths in this country result from prescription painkillers called opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All lot of people know them by their actual names such as; Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Methadone. Drugged driving resulting from prescription drug abuse and misuse deaths are on the rise. Every 25 minutes in America a child is born in opiate withdrawal from the addiction of the mother during pregnancy.

Heroin use has also been on the rise throughout the U.S., particularly among 18-25 year olds. Among new heroin users, approximately three out of four report abusing prescription opioids prior to using heroin. According to data from the DEA, the amount of heroin seized each year at the southwest border of the United States was approximately 500 kg during 2000–2008. This amount quadrupled to 2,196 kg in 2013. Heroin-related deaths more than tripled between 2010 and 2014, with 10,574 heroin deaths in 2014. The largest increase in overdose deaths from 2013 to 2014 was for those involving synthetic opioids (other than methadone), which rose from 3,105 deaths in 2013 to 5,544 deaths in 2014.

There is still a lot of work to be done to educate everyone about the dangers associated with drug usage, but there have been some great strides made in recent years. Every division of the department will be tasked with a different aspect during this initiative with the ultimate goal of education and making drug dealers very uncomfortable in our community. It’s our desire with the Anti-Drug April initiative that we will be able to not only take drug pushers off our streets, but also provide the information necessary to help keep our communities safer for our families and children.

We encourage parents to talk to their children about the dangers of drug usage, because education is the key to helping us make a difference in our community. We can further reduce the lives this problem destroys by simply educating those around us and by taking time to secure and dispose of old medications.

To report suspicious activity, a crime or to receive information about this monthly initiative, call the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals also may send us anonymous information to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to to leave a tip. A crime tip can also be submitted via the official Benton Police Department app found on ITunes and Google Play.

Follow BNPD on Facebook: