CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s a massive effort underway to combat the opioid crisis and a chance to get rid of unwanted and unneeded prescription drugs.
CBS 2’s Vi Nguyen has the story on National Drug Take Back Day.READ MORE: 1 Killed, 9 Others Injured In Mass Shooting On South Side
The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Cicero is one of several locations taking part in the national initiative by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The goal is to toss out any unused prescription drugs and to prevent the drugs from getting into the wrong hands. Several communities are participating in the event.
Communities like Lake County have seen the impact of getting rid of the drugs firsthand and launched their own version of the take back program in 2012.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Thunderstorms Bring Heavy Rain, Hail, Powerful Winds, Cooler Temperatures
Every two months, law enforcement officials go to the solid waste agency to drop off boxes of drugs. Police say the drugs go through a chain of custody before being placed in barrels of gasoline to be destroyed.
Lake County is expecting to collect 13,000 lbs. of drugs this year. The street value is estimated at $500,000.
“In 2012, we had 45 deaths from opioid overdoses. Last year we had 12,” said Bill Gentes of the Lake County Health Department. “Every single year it’s declined in numbers. I believe one of the major reasons is because we’re getting opioids out of people’s medicine cabinets and that’s why this program is so valuable.”MORE NEWS: Chicago Spelling Bee Champion Danielle Addo Competes In Scripps National Spelling Bee Preliminaries
To take part in the national initiative, you can click on the Take Back Day website and type in your zip code to find the nearest location to drop off the prescription drugs.