Four DuPage Walgreens Stores Unveil Safe Medication Disposal Kiosks
Effort complements county, municipal efforts to curb drug abuse and overdose
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin joined Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, Illinois Senator Michael Connelly (21st District) and Walgreens executives in Naperville on Monday, August 15 as they unveiled one of four safe medication disposal kiosks in DuPage County Walgreens stores. The new drop boxes are located in Naperville, Glen Ellyn, Downers Grove and Villa Park.
The launch of the safe disposal kiosks is part of Walgreens’ national strategy to help reduce drug abuse and overdose. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 6.5 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 2014. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports a total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths in 2014, including both prescription and illicit drugs. That represents a 6.5 percent increase from 2013 and a 140 percent increase since 2000.
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin welcomed Walgreens’ participation in the County’s efforts to combat heroin and opioid pain pill abuse. He said, “We know many people who wind up addicted to heroin first became addicted to prescription pain pills. Through our own DuPage Rx Box program, we have collected more than 70,000 pounds of unneeded or expired prescription drugs. We welcome Walgreens’ participation and encourage all families to regularly sort through those prescription bottles and safely dispose of unused medications. This is one easy and convenient way we can all contribute, as together we work to cut the number of overdoses in our communities.”
Naperville has been a leader in the fight against prescription drug abuse with the launch of its Prescription Drug Drop Box program in April 2014. In addition to offering an anonymous way for the public to securely dispose of unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medication at each of Naperville’s 10 fire stations and the Police Department, the initiative has environmental benefits.
“We know that, in the wrong hands, prescription medications can lead to more severe forms of drug abuse,” Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said. “When improperly disposed of, these medications can also have serious environmental consequences for our local waterways. Naperville is grateful to Walgreens for offering another convenient opportunity for the public to dispose of these items and keep them out of the hands of those who might misuse them.”
Illinois Senator Michael Connelly said, “To successfully fight back and defeat the heroin epidemic will require all hands on deck as they say in the Navy. These kiosks not only make it easier for residents to dispose of unused medications - especially pain medications that serve as the gateway to heroin in many instances - but also in some ways will serve as a reminder to the public of the potential danger in having unused medications in your home. Kudos to Walgreens for taking this action."
The safe medication disposal kiosks are located at 63 W. 87th St. in Naperville, 1000 Ogden Ave. in Downers Grove, 324 Roosevelt Road in Glen Ellyn and 200 E. Roosevelt Road in Villa Park. Walgreens will also soon make naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without a prescription at its pharmacies in Illinois, 34 other states and Washington, D.C. The program will be rolled out this year on a state-by-state basis.
About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at www.naperville.il.us.