MAYWOOD, Ill. (April 13, 2015) – Loyola University Health System will partner with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department to hold a medication take-back day. The event will take place on Thursday, May 7, from 9 am to 3 pm at the Loyola Outpatient Center lobby located at 2160 S. First Ave. in Maywood.
Community members and Loyola employees are encouraged to bring unused, expired or unwanted medication for incineration. All prescription, over-the-counter and veterinary tablets and capsules will be accepted. No liquids, illicit drugs or inhalers will be taken. This service is free and anonymous.
“The medication take-back event will offer a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of drugs and keep our community and patients safe,” said Pamela Nicoski, PharmD, LUHS. “Medications flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash end up in our water supply and harm our environment. Unused medications in homes also create a public health and safety concern, because they can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused and abused.”
Prescription medications are the leading cause of accidental poisoning in children. Seven of the 10 most commonly abused drugs by teenagers are prescription medications. Teens get these from family, friends and their medicine cabinets. Senior citizens also are at risk for misuse and mistakes.
While the number of Americans who currently abuse prescription drugs dropped in 2013 to 6.5 million from 6.8 million in 2012, that is still more than double the number of those using heroin, cocaine and hallucinogens combined, according to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 43,982 Americans died in 2013 from overdoses of prescription medications, including 22,767 from prescription painkillers.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart initiated the prescription drug take-back program in 2011 and established permanent collection sites at each of the Cook County suburban courthouses as well as the Criminal Court Building in Chicago. The sheriff also works with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency on its annual prescription drug-collection drive. More than 300 tons of unwanted prescription drugs were collected at the last drive.
For more information about the Cook County Sheriff’s prescription drug take-back program, email Sheriff.Recycling@cookcountyil.gov.