Wednesday, 26 February 2014 17:20
State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) is sponsoring legislation that will help keep prescription drugs off the streets, away from children and out of the water supply.
“Although there is a collection program counties can take part in statewide, Lake County does not receive any funding for disposal of these pharmaceutical drugs,” said Link. “It is left up to local police departments to use their own resources to collect, transport and store these prescription drugs for up to six months. Unfortunately, many don’t have the financial means to do this.”
A lack of storage space has discouraged smaller police agencies in the Lake County region from participating in the statewide drug collection program. When these drugs are turned into police departments, it cuts down on the number of these drugs on the streets and accidental overdoses that can occur when children get a hold of these drugs. In addition, this program helps to keep people from flushing the drugs down our sewers, which can lead to increased levels of drugs turning up in the water supply.
Senate Bill 2928 creates the Lake County Prescription Drug Disposal Pilot Program, which will facilitate the collection, transportation, and disposal of pharmaceutical drugs throughout the county. There is also corresponding funding for the program, Senate Bill 3116.
This legislation is an initiative of the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force. Currently, Lake County has 13 prescription drug collection sites, with 12 of the boxes located in police departments. Lake County has been very successful at collecting prescription drugs, taking in around 8,000 pounds of medication in 2012.