This Saturday, April 27, Cook County residents can help protect the environment and fight the opioid crisis by participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and safely disposing of their expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications.
The Sheriff’s Office, which partners with the DEA in its local prescription takeback efforts, operates more than 80 permanent collection sites throughout the county through the Sheriff’s Prescription Take Back Program. Anyone wishing to dispose of medication can do so free-of-charge and anonymously by dropping their prescriptions into a collection box at one of the sites. Elderly or homebound residents can request a free mail-in envelope by calling the Sheriff’s toll-free telephone number 1-84-GOT USD RX (1-844-688-7379).
The Sheriff has also launched a new webpage with resources and information about the safe disposal of unused prescriptions, including an interactive map to each of the Sheriff’s Prescription Takeback Program’s collection sites.
“While you’re spring cleaning this year, think about including the unused prescriptions in your medicine cabinet – our Prescription Takeback program allows the safe and responsible disposal of pills,” said Sheriff Dart. “Safe disposal of prescription medications is a simple and important step in helping combat prescription drug abuse, which often originates in the medicine cabinets of family and friends.”
Next week, the Sheriff’s Office will drop off thousands of pills collected in its take-back effort to the DEA for eventual destruction.
Since its inception in 2012, the Sheriff’s Prescription Drug Take Back Program has collected and destroyed more than 31 million pills. The program began through a partnership with the DEA and expanded in 2016 with a grant from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Additionally, the Cook County Safe Disposal of Pharmaceuticals Ordinance, which went into effect in 2017, requires manufacturers to partake in the financial sustainability of collection sites across the county, without burdening the consumer.