BLOOMINGTON — Six million Americans misused prescription drugs during 2017 and most of the abused drugs were taken from the medicine cabinets of family members and friends, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The majority of teens who report abuse of prescription drugs also get them from family and friends and many of those drugs are taken from medicine cabinets without loved ones knowing, said Lisa Soliday, prevention specialist with Bloominton-based Project Oz, which helps at-risk youth.
"We need to keep medications out of the hands of people who abuse prescription drugs," Soliday said. "When people dispose of medications safely, there is less of a risk that people will get a hold of them and abuse them."
Central Illinoisans will have another opportunity to safely dispose of no-longer-needed prescription drugs.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a twice-yearly event that allows people to safely dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs, is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at thousands of sites nationwide, including several in Central Illinois.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the take-back day is an attempt to reduce drug abuse and addiction, overdose deaths and accidental poisonings by keeping medicines, including opioid painkillers, away from people who shouldn't have them.
A second goal is to help the environment by discouraging disposal of medicines by dumping them down the toilet or sink, which means medicine could end up in the water supply, Soliday said.
During the most recent drug take-back day on Oct. 27, 2018, 914,236 pounds of drugs were collected at 5,839 sites nationwide, according to DEA. That included 36,896 pounds of drugs collected at 188 sites in Illinois.
Agencies within an hour of Bloomington-Normal participating in drug take-back day include: Bloomington Police Department, 305 S. East St.; Normal Police Department, 100 E. Phoenix Ave., with assistance from Project Oz's Youth Action Board and Bloomington High School's HYPE (Helping Youth Progress and Excel) Club; Danvers Police Department, 105 S. Broadway St.; Stanford Police Department at village hall, 206 W. Main St.; McLean Police Department, 110 S. Main St.; LeRoy Police Department, 110 S. East St.; Lexington Police Department at city hall, 329 W. Main St.; Minier Police Department, 110 W. Central Ave.; Clinton Police Department, 118 W. Washington St.; Chenoa Police Department, 201 Green St.; Morton Police Department, 375 W. Birchwood St.; and Live Well Streator at Streator City Park on Hickory Street.
Also Washington Police Department, 115 W. Jefferson St.; Maroa Police Department at city hall, 120 S. Locust St.; Lincoln Police Department, 710 Fifth St.; Woodford County Sheriff's Office, 111 E. Court St., Eureka; Pekin Police Department, 111 S. Capitol St.; East Peoria Police Department, 201 W. Washington St.; Peoria Police Department, 600 SW Adams and OSF HealthCare Center for Health, 8800 State Route 91, Peoria; Monticello Police Department, 301 N. Hamilton St.; Mason County Sheriff's Office at The Lodge, 1303 S. East Ave., Manito, and IGA, 201 W. Elm St., Mason City; and Decatur Police Department, 707 W. South Side Drive.