Widespread Participation in DEA Prescription Drug Drop-Off

An idea I first heard in the fall of 2007 from Democratic Party candidate for County Coroner David Bachmann is taking over big time under the DEA’s leadership. I first noticed the DEA program in New Jersey in September, 2010..

Here is a press release detailing which McHeny County Police Departments will have boxes for pharmaceuticals you no longer need:

Medication Take-Back Event
Saturday, April 30 – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) encourages residents to take advantage of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) program “National Take-Back Initiative” on Saturday, April 30. The one-day event is from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, at participating law enforcement sites. A joint collaborative of public health and law enforcement departments, this initiative will provide a safe way for the public to dispose of their expired, unused and unwanted medication at no cost.

Residents can bring prescription and over-the-counter, solid dose (tablets, capsules) medications in clear, sealed plastic bags for disposal. Items not accepted include liquids, intravenous (IV) bags/solutions, injectables, needles, lancets and sharps.

Photo displays meds turned in under the OMC program on 11-14-2009. Left to right: Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey - announcing the Operation Medicine Cabinet, Angelo Valente, Executive Director, Partnership for Drug Free New Jersey, and Mary Pat Angelini, Assemblywomen, 11 District, New Jersey Assembly

Prescription labels should be removed (or personal information blocked out with a permanent marker) from plastic bottles before tossing into weekly curbside recycling containers. Participating drop-off sites include:

  • Algonquin Police Dept., 2200 Harnish Drive-Algonquin
  • Crystal Lake Police Department, 100 W Woodstock St-Crystal Lake
  • Harvard Police Department, 201 W. Front St.-Harvard
  • Huntley Police Department, 10911 Main Street-Huntley
  • Johnsburg Police Department, 3611 N. Chapel Hill Road-Johnsburg
  • Lakewood Police Department, 2500 Lake Ave.-Lakewood
  • Spring Grove Police Department, 7401 Meyer Road-Spring Grove
  • Woodstock Police Department, 656 Lake Ave-Woodstock

According to the DEA, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at an alarming rate, as are accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Many Americans toss their unused medicines into the toilet or throw them in the trash – both potential safety and health hazards. U.S. Geological Survey studies have found traces of prescription drugs in water samples from 30 states which have been linked to ecological harm to fish and freshwater supplies.

To find collection sites near you, visit the DEA’s web page. Check often as new sites will be added daily.Additional information is available from your participating local law enforcement agency, on the MCDH webpage www.mcdh.info (Environmental Health) or by calling Kristy Hecke, MCDH’s Solid Waste Manager at 815-334-4585.


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