Cook County Set for Unwanted Prescription Drug Take Back

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New Opioid Guidelines
New Opioid Guidelines

COOK COUNTY – On Saturday, April 28, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be hosting an unwanted prescription drug round-up at two locations in the County.

“This is an opportunity for the public to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs,” said Chief Deputy Will Sandstrom. “This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that sit in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”

Studies show most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose additional potential safety, health and environmental hazards. Last year, Cook County’s Prescription Drug Take Back events produced 125 pounds of medication.

National Prescription Drug Take Back events take place in April and October each year and continue to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens. Last October, Americans turned in 912,305 lbs (456 Tons) of prescription drugs at 5,3210 sites operated by the DEA with 4,274 of its State and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills.

Bring unwanted medications for disposal to either of the following locations on Saturday, April 28, from 10 am to 2 pm. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches will be accepted.

Location drop-off sites include:

  • The Grand Portage Clinic, 62 Upper Rd
  • The Cook County Law Enforcement Center, 143 Gunflint Trail

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 28 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website or contact the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. A medication drop-box is also located in the Law Enforcement Center lobby 365 days a year for anyone to turn in unwanted medication.

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