September 18, 2012
Guest blog post from Laura Kammin of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host another nationwide medicine take-back on Saturday, September 29. Expired and unused medications can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at one of 200 participating locations in Illinois. Check out the DEA’s website to find an event in your community. The service is free and anonymous.
Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can threaten the safety and health of humans, pets and the environment. Recent studies have found a wide-range of pharmaceutical chemicals in rivers, groundwater and drinking water throughout the United States. These chemicals can kill bacteria needed to break down waste in sewage plants and harm fish and other wildlife. Storing unneeded medicines in the home is also the cause of thousands of accidental poisonings in children and pets each year.Pharmaceutical stewardship is based on proper use, storage and disposal of medications. Single-day medicine take-back events like this one are a great way to prevent accidental poisonings, reduce drug abuse and diversion and limit negative impacts to wildlife and local waterways. So if you’ve been looking for a place to dispose of your expired or unused medications, be sure not to miss the take-back event on September 29th.
Acceptable items include prescription and over-the-counter medicines, both human and veterinary medications. Sharps/needles, thermometers, and medical waste will not be accepted. Medications should be from residential sources only; no business waste will be accepted. All materials collected will be properly incinerated by the DEA. This will be the fifth collection event the DEA has sponsored since fall of 2010. More than 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication were collected nationwide during previous events.
In Central Illinois, Walgreens is hosting multiple take-back sites including:
Bourbonnais (501 N. Convent)
Champaign (841 Bloomington Road)
Charleston (411 W. Lincoln Ave.)
Danville (400 W. Fairchild)
Effingham (1200 W. Fayette Ave.)
Kankakee (1050 N. Kennedy Drive)
Mahomet (104 N. Lomard)
Mattoon (212 S. Logan)
Monticello (108 N. Market St.)
Pana (108 South Poplar St.)
Rantoul (220 S. Century Blvd.)
Taylorville (315 N. Webster St.)
Urbana (302 E. University)
If you don’t see your community listed here or on the DEA’s website, call your local police department to ask if they are participating. Not all of the communities that will be participating in the event are listed yet on the DEA website.