EDWARDSVILLE — State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons, Coroner Steve Nonn and Sheriff John Lakin are encouraging Madison County residents to bring their expired or unwanted prescription or over-the-counter medications to Edwardsville as part of the National Take-Back Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.
As part of Gibbons’ ongoing participation in the Lock Your Meds public outreach campaign, he is once more co-sponsoring a prescription drug collection site in Edwardsville with Nonn and Lakin as part of the upcoming National Take-Back Initiative. There will be free prescription lock bags to the first 25 individuals who bring their medications to the site. The event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, in the parking lot on Second Street behind the County Administration Building, 157 N. Main St.
Other Madison County sites include:
- Edwardsville Police Department
- Roxana Police Department
- East Alton Police Department
- Alton Police Department
In nine previous take-back events (2010-2014), more than 4.8 million pounds of pills (2,400 tons) have been collected nationwide. In 2014, there were 56 prescription overdose deaths in Madison County, more than doubling the total from 2013 (22). Many local police departments in Madison County, including the Sheriff’s Department, have permanent drop-off sites available for residents.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
For more information on Lock Your Meds, visit the state’s attorney’s website at www.madco-sa.org. Alton is one local police department participating in National Take-Back Day. More information is available at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.