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Posted on: November 7, 2022

Township Tale of the Month

TOWNSHIP TALE

Have Meds You No Longer Need? Visit Niles Township Today


 

Niles Township quietly became home to a new addition in its lobby late last year that many who passed through our front doors may not have even noticed.

That’s understandable; a receptacle for unused and unnecessary medications is hardly the kind of thing that draws attention or creates a word-of-mouth buzz from those who use it. But make no mistake: Niles Township is proud to offer this new service to our public, and we want to make the case for the enormous good it can do.

Teaming with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Niles Township is one of some 80 permanent sites that promises to “destroy unwanted prescription drugs” that are handled on an anonymous basis. Our collection box in the lobby allows those with medications they want to discard to drop them inside and then never have to worry again. The collection box is available during the Township’s regular hours.

Why was Niles Township so eager to become part of the program? 

Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs reduces the risk of accidental poisoning. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, medicines are the most common poison exposure category in the United States and, unfortunately, when medicines are not stored or discarded properly, people can get sick and or die.

Medicines can create harm for people and the environment when they are tossed or flushed or left lying around and unattended. But meds are thrown in the trash or down the sink or flushed down the toilet every year, creating significant harm.

Since 2017, Cook County residents safely destroyed around 100,000 pills through the Cook County Sheriff’s Prescription Drug Take Back Program. In addition to the permanent collection sites, including Niles Township, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office collects and destroys unwanted prescription drugs at community take-back events and through the department’s mail-back service.

 Unwanted covered drugs, including most prescription and over-the-counter medicines for disposal, are accepted through the program. Mail-back envelopes are available for residents who are elderly or home-bound and have limited mobility, and there is no cost to residents to use this service.

 Our new program is intended to combat the trend of unused or expired prescription drugs leading to poisoning, overdose and abuse. In Illinois, prescription pain medication overdose deaths doubled between 2013 and 2016 before the Cook County Sheriff’s Prescription Drug Take Back Program went into full throttle. We’re so happy to be part of the solution.

People can learn more about the program by calling the toll-free telephone number 1-84-GOT USD RX (1-844-688-7379) and by visiting https://bit.ly/3X3eX5b.

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