Prescription Drug Disposal Program

Unwanted Prescription Depository
A galvanized steel depository and collection storage unit for unwanted prescription medications is outside The Itasca Police Department.
Each year, millions of Americans resolve to clean out their medicine cabinets. Studies have shown that keeping unused medications can increase the chances of taking the wrong 1 and old medications can lose their potency over time.

Disposing of Prescription Drugs

In the past, the advice has been to flush old and unused medications down the toilet or put them in the trash. Neither is a good method. Prescriptions drugs can kill helpful bacteria in septic systems and pass largely untouched through sewage treatment plants. Unfortunately, scientists are finding traces of prescription medications in our streams, rivers and lakes. Furthermore, children and animals can get into drugs discarded in the trash and once in landfills, drugs can trickle into the groundwater.
A galvanized steel depository for unwanted prescription medications

Prescription Medication Abuse

Prescription medication abuse among teens and young adults is a serious and increasing problem in the U.S. The Partnership for a Drug Free America’s annual tracking study recently found:
  • 1 in 5 teens has abused a prescription pain medication
  • 1 in 5 teens report abusing prescription stimulants and tranquilizers
  • 1 in 10 teens has abused cough medication
Many teens think these drugs are safe because they have legitimate uses. However, taking them without a prescription to get high or “self medicate” can be dangerous and as addicting as using street narcotics and other illicit drugs.

Commonly Abused Medication

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health identifies 4 types of pain medication that are commonly abused:
  • Pain relievers
  • Sedatives
  • Stimulants
  • Tranquilizers
A total of 11% of teens (ages 12 to 17) reported lifetime non-medical use of pain relievers and 4% reported lifetime non-medical use of stimulants.

Prescription Drug Disposal Program

Lastly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations prohibit the recycling of prescription medications and there few sites to properly dispose of these unwanted medications. In response to this, the Itasca Police Department has launched a Prescription Drug Disposal Program. The purpose of this program will be to collect old, unwanted and discarded prescription medications and properly dispose of them through an approved EPA site.

The Itasca Police Department, in cooperation with the Itasca Lions and the Itasca Knights of Columbus, has acquired a galvanized steel depository and collection storage unit as a repository for unwanted prescription medications. The unit is equipped with a front key located access door, removable totes for safe and easy collection and constructed of 16 gauge heavy steel. The collection box will be placed at the Itasca Police Department and citizens will have access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Itasca Police Department will dispose of unused medications on a monthly basis. These medications will be transported to an approved EPA location for proper disposal.

For further information contact Sergeant Tony Macaluso  at 630-773-1004.