A prescription drug prevention disposal program in Lake County is receiving an efficiency enhancement thanks to a new law that will give police agencies more flexibility in the disposal of the controlled substances they collect as part of the program.
As a main initiative of the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force, residents are encouraged to drop off unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances, at Lake County police department collection sites. These drugs are stored and eventually destroyed, keeping potentially harmful drugs off the streets and out of local water supplies.
This initiative took in about 8,000 pounds of medication in 2012 alone. In some cases, there has been an overload of collected drugs in police evidence rooms, with inadequate space for other evidence. The problem is intensified because there are currently only two drug disposal days across the Chicago area held each year by the DEA, according to a press release about the Lake County program.
The new law, sponsored by state Sen. Terry Link, D–Gurnee, aims to ease the burden on police departments and encourage needed efficiency in the collection, storage and transportation of these substances.
The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, working with the Illinois EPA, will develop a DEA-approved disposal program. Law enforcement agencies will now have the ability to move the substances to a permitted facility throughout the year.
“This drug prevention initiative has been so successful in Lake County, I believe it is imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure the program’s future success,” Link said. “With a more stream-lined transportation and disposal process, we will improve our already stellar drug collection numbers in the coming years, while keeping police evidence rooms uncluttered.”
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