The DuPage County Health Department has collected a staggering 100,000 pounds of prescription drugs since beginning its RxBOX program.
The drop box program has collected unused or expired medications since 2009, as a way to help dispose of them safely and make an environmental health impact. Reports of contaminated ground water were the first sign that a health initiative was needed.
“Then in 2013 when the opioid crisis really started affecting our community, we realized that this was also an important tool in addressing that situation,” said Executive Director of the DuPage County Health Department Karen Ayala.
Ayala says the number of medications RxBOX has collected continues to increase every quarter, showing a need to not only keep the program going, but to expand it as well.
“I think that not only is this important for opioids, and certainly we talked about the ground water contamination, but the other issue that this type of program really supports is the accidental poisoning of kids,” added Ayala. “So this is one of those programs that only has an upside to it. So regardless of what kind of age group we’re looking at I think it’s a very positive public health intervention for our community.”
While the Naperville Police Department has its own prescription drop box program, RxBOXs are located at 18 other police departments throughout DuPage, including at the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.
It’s also important to note that RxBOX do not accept sharps, but you can find out how to properly dispose of those on the health department’s website.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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