Highland News Leader

Prescription drug “Take Back Day” set for Saturday

Law enforcement agencies across Madison County, including the Highland Police Department, are partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

On Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can bring such medications for disposal to the lobby Highland Police Department, located at 820 Mulberry St. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Also, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons, Coroner Steve Nonn, and Sheriff John Lakin are once again co-sponsoring a prescription drug collection site at the parking lot on 2nd Street behind County Administration Building, 157 N. Main St. in Edwardsville, as part of the upcoming National Take-Back Initiative on Oct. 22.

The Take-Back Initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish 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 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 — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds — about 3,200 tons — of pills.

Also, as part of Gibbons’ ongoing participation in the “Lock Your Meds” public outreach campaign, he is once more handing out free prescription lock bags to the first 10 individuals who bring their medications to the collection site at the County Administration Building.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 22 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website, deadiversion.usdoj.gov, or contact the Highland Police Department at 654-2131.

In addition to the special take-back event this weekend, HPD also has a drop box in its lobby, which is available 24/7 all year long to dispose of unwanted medications. Many other local police departments in Madison County, including the Sheriff’s Department, also have permanent drop-off sites available for residents.

Got Unwanted Drugs?

These police departments in Madison County have 24/7 drop boxes to dispose of expired, or unwanted, prescription or over-the-counter medications. Liquids, needles or sharps cannot be accepted, only pills or patches.

▪ Madison County Sheriff’s Department, 405 Randle St. in Edwardsville, phone 692-1064

▪ Alton Police Department, 1700 East Broadway, phone 463-3505

▪ Bethalto Police Department, 213 N. Prairie St., phone 377-5266

▪ Collinsville Police Department 200 W. Clay St., phone 344-2131

▪ East Alton Police Department, 211 N. Shamrock, phone 259-6212

▪ Edwardsville Police Department, 400 N. Main St., phone 656-2131

▪ Glen Carbon Police Department, 149 North Main St., phone 288-7226

▪ Granite City Police Department, 2330 Madison Ave., phone 877-6111

▪ Edwardsville Police Department, 400 N. Main St., phone 656-2131

▪ Highland Police Department, 820 Mulberry St., phone 654-2131

▪ Madison Police Department, 615 Madison Ave., phone 876-4300

▪ Roxana Police Department, 400 S. Central Ave., phone 254-1945

▪ Troy Police Department, 116 E. Market St., phone 667-6731

▪ SIUE Police Department, 99 Supporting Services Road in Edwardsville, phone 650-3324

▪ Marvyille Police Department, 2500 N. Center St., phone 344-8899