On Saturday Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the North Riverside Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft as well as prevent or reduce accidental contamination of streams, rivers and lakes by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your medications for disposal to the following locations:

  • North Riverside Police Department at 2359 S. Des Plaines North Riverside, IL 60546.
  • Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, 6001 W. Pershing Road, Cicero.
  • O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant (formerly North Side), 3500 Howard Street, Skokie.
  • Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, 400 East 130th Street, Chicago.

The Brookfield Cool Village Group is also organizing an effort from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the The Brookfield Village Hall, on the last day of the Farmer’s Market, to accept prescription drugs.

The service, the seventh nationally organized prescription drug take back day in three years, is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons (over 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement planners.

In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners tool (in over 2,8 million pounds– more than 1,400) tons-of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible t0 diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates 0f 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 that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-Hushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards.

DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or pet or their family member or owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.

The MWRD’s wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove pharmaceutical products if they are poured down a drain or flushed down a toilet. The chemicals can work their way into lakes or streams, so this special collection gives the community an environmentally-friendly opportunity to properly dispose of expired or unwanted medications.

Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or doctor’s supervision. Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs saves lives and protects the environment. If you have unused prescription medications, please use this opportunity to properly dispose of them.

Additional information about the bi-annual pharmaceutical disposal collection can be found at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.