Initiative graphicBenton Police Department launched today a month-long drug-addiction awareness campaign entitled “Don’t be a Zombie.” The initiative will culminate with the Arkansas Drug Take Back event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27 at multiple collection sites across the state. Benton locations will include Ferguson’s Furniture and Kroger Marketplace.

Chief Scotty Hodges emphasized that drug addiction is one of the largest epidemics facing not only the city, but the entire state and nation.

“We all know someone whose life has been affected by drug addiction- whether directly or indirectly—and the effects are devastating. It’s not that there is necessarily a lack of empathy on the issue, but there is a lack of knowledge regarding the extent of the issues and how best to deal with them.”

He added that the goal of this campaign is to remind everyone in their busy lives to take a little time to learn the facts- be it how to talk to children and teens about drugs or how to help a friend or family member battling addiction.

“The important thing is that there are resources widely available, and we at BNPD want to ensure our community members are made aware of them. The goal is to prevent addiction, and BNPD is committed to doing as much as possible to ensure our citizens have the best chance of avoiding it.”

The prescription drug drop box is open 24/7 at 114 South East St. for unused and expired prescription drugs, and collection events such as the Arkansas Drug Take Back are helping provide convenient disposal options as well.

“It’s a start, said Hodges, “but there is still a lot of progress to be made, and it’s going to take everyone to achieve it.”

The zombie theme is an extension of the City of Benton’s coffin races, zombie pageant and Spook City events taking place throughout the month. See and the Benton Proud blog for details on those events.

Additional campaign information will be available on BNPD social media sites. For inquiries, contact BNPD at 501-776-5948 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.