Metro-east residents who want to clean out their medicine cabinets are invited to bring expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs to collection sites in Edwardsville and Belleville on Saturday.
As part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly and the Drug Enforcement Administration will provide a prescription drug disposal site at 10 Public Square in Belleville on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In Madison County, State’s Attorney State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons, Coroner Steve Nonn and Sheriff John Lakin are also teaming with the DEA to collect unwanted prescription drugs on the parking lot on Second Street behind the Madison County Administration Building at 157 N. Main St. in Edwardsville.
“This flood of opioid prescription drugs feeds the heroin epidemic impacting law enforcement, schools, businesses and family of all kinds,” Kelly said. “All of us must secure prescription drugs at home, dispose of unused prescription drugs after healing, and seek help for those abusing drugs immediately before they wind up dead or in court.”
There are also collection sites at the Edwardsville, Roxana, East Alton, Maryville, Alton and Highland Police Departments.
Kelly, Gibbons, Nonn and Lakin noted the importance of proper disposal of unused prescription drugs and cited the following statistics:
▪ Every year, nearly 15,000 people across the country die from overdoses of prescription painkillers.
▪ The number of emergency department visits due to misuse or abuse of prescription drugs has risen 98.4 percent since 2004.
▪ Among 12 and 13-year-olds who abuse drugs, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused.
▪ More than three in five teens say prescription pain relievers are easy to get from parents medicine cabinet.
▪ Over 50 percent of prescription drug abusers got them from family or friends.
▪ Last year, there were 56 prescription overdose deaths in Madison County, more than double the 22 deaths from 2013.
Kelly has partnered with the DEA which has held National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days since 2010. Last year, 35,762 pounds of prescription drugs were collected and destroyed in Illinois.
The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous.
To become involved in local drug abuse prevention, contact the St. Clair County Prevention Partners coalition coordinator Kristin Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grant will be available on Saturday to provide prevention and treatment resource materials.
To find a site near you, go to http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/