Madison County expands prescription drug disposal effort

From Illinois Business Journal news services

Madison County has expanded its prescription drug disposal effort to the lobbies of several local police departments.

The county has placed secured medication collection bins in the departments in Alton, Bethalto, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Highland, Roxana and Troy, in addition to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

County Sheriff John Lakin said the problem of unused and improperly disposed prescription drugs extends beyond the environment.

“Unused prescription drugs can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused and abused. The number of people who abuse of prescription drugs, especially painkillers such as hydrocodon and oxycodone, far exceed the number of those using heroin, cocaine and other drugs,” Lakin said. “And the majority of the abused prescription drugs are obtained or taken from the medicine cabinets of family members and friends.”

The medication collection bins are provided by Republic Waste and the American Water Company. Periodically, Madison County deputy sheriffs will transport the collected drugs to approved U.S. Environmental Protection Agency locations where they will be incinerated.

Because of the location of the medication collection bins in police department lobbies, the public can dispose of prescription medications every day of the year.

Among the medications which can be deposited at the bins are antibiotics, hormones, blood pressure regulators, painkillers, steroids, any over-the-counter medications, anti-depressants, sedatives, cough syrups and other controlled substances.
Medications which should not be disposed of at the bins include sharps/needles, mercury thermometers, IV solutions, hearing aids, oxygen tanks, X-rays or other household waste items.

For specific questions, residents should contact their local police department.

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