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Posted on: July 2, 2018

Prescription Drug Take Back Program

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Prescription Drug Take Back Program

The Oak Forest Police Department has a new prescription drug collection container located in the Police Department lobby for easy disposal of unwanted prescription drugs. The goal of the Prescription Drug Take Back Program is to allow Oak Forest residents a convenient and safe disposal alternative by delivering all unused, unwanted, or expired medications to local law enforcement officials who dispose of these substances in a safe, secure, and non-hazardous manner. The Oak Forest Police Department has established procedures for the collection and safe disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines dropped into the Prescription Drug Drop container. The Oak Forest Police Evidence Unit will be responsible for the intake, storage, and disposal of unused medications.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports thousands of tons of pharmaceutical and personal care products enter the waste stream each year. Several United States Geological Survey studies have found that many pharmaceuticals are surviving water treatment facilities and making their way into drinking water.

The EPA has instructed people to stop discarding unwanted medications down the drain. Unused, expired and unwanted medication is a health and safety risk, as well as a potential threat to waterways and local landfills.

Prescription medication abuse among teens and young adults is a serious and increasing problem in the U.S. The Partnership for a Drug Free America’s annual tracking study recently found:

  • 1 in 5 teens have abused a prescription pain medication
  • 1 in 5 teens report abusing prescription stimulants and tranquilizers
  • 1 in 10 teens have abused cough medication

Many teens think these drugs are safe because they have legitimate uses. However, taking them without a prescription to get high or “self-medicate” can be dangerous and as addicting as using street narcotics and other illicit drugs.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health identifies 4 types of pain medication that are commonly abused:

  • Pain relievers
  • Sedatives
  • Stimulants
  • Tranquilizers

A total of 11% of teens (ages 12 to 17) reported lifetime non-medical use of pain relievers and 4% reported lifetime non-medical use of stimulants.

The Oak Forest Police Department will be conducting an initial prescription drug drop-off to familiarize residents with the location of the new Prescription Drug Drop container in the Police Department lobby on Saturday, July 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. All residents are invited to bring unwanted acceptable prescription and non-prescription items from the list below for disposal on that day.

After the initial drop-off day, the Prescription Drug Drop container will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily for residents to turn-in approved medications.

Acceptable Items include:

  1. Prescription Drugs
  2. Prescription Patches
  3. Prescription Ointments
  4. Prescription samples
  5. Pet Medication
  6. Over-the-counter medications
  7. Vitamins

Unacceptable Items include:

  1. Needles
  2. Aerosol cans or inhalers
  3. Bio-hazard or infectious waste
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide or alcohol
  5. Thermometers
  6. Food items
  7. Supplements
  8. Liquids

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