The Illinois State Police (ISP) is teaming up with the Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation to help decrease prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.
Governor Bruce Rauner announced today that five ISP District headquarters across the state will house receptacles for people to drop off their unused and unwanted prescription medications.
“Many people experiment with prescription drugs before turning to more dangerous, illegal drugs,” Rauner said. “These receptacles offer people a smart and safe way to get potentially addictive drugs out of their homes and off the streets.”
Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation provided the receptacles for initiative. The foundation was created by David and Gail Katz, whose son died in 2007 from an overdose of prescription medication.
“Each day, about 2,500 teens use prescription drugs for non-medical use for the first time. Prescription pills are now killing more of our youth than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine combined,” David Katz said. “Save A Star is pleased to partner with the Illinois State Police to help avoid future tragedies.”
ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz says the receptacles will be placed at their District headquarters in Des Plaines, Elgin, Joliet, Collinsville, and LaSalle.
“Prescription drug abuse is a real issue and unfortunately, it’s all too often the gateway to opioid drug addiction.” Schmitz said. “These receptacles will help us keep drugs out of the wrong hands and will reduce the odds for accidental overdoses and future drug dependency.”
People will be able to drop over-the-counter and prescription medications into the receptacles, including controlled substances, pet medications, drug samples, vitamins, liquids and creams. For safety reasons, needles, thermometers, IV Bags, bloody waste and hydrogen peroxide cannot be accepted and should not be deposited into the receptacles.
The initiative is another step in the state’s effort to reduce opioid-related deaths in Illinois by 33-percent in three years.
“Our teams are working hard to combat the opioid crisis and get people the help they need,” said Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti who co-chairs the Governor's Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force. “Members of our Opioid Task Force have toured this state and listened to people who are impacted by these dangerous drugs. More than 2,200 people have called our Opioid Helpline since its launch in December, and our Prescription Monitoring Program is limiting peoples’ ability to get access to more prescription medicine than they need.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid use disorder, call Illinois’ Opioid Helpline at 1-833-2FINDHELP.