The opioid epidemic continues to hurt communities across the state. But for Illinois’ youth, it’s not the illicit drugs, it’s the prescription pain pills that can too often be easily accessed from their home medicine cabinet.
In 2016, there were nearly 1,500 prescription opioid overdose deaths in Illinois-- a number that quadrupled in 3 years according to the state’s Department of Public Health. Studies suggest that more youth are now experimenting, and dying, from prescription pills.
Lieutenant Matt Boerwinkle with the Illinois State Police said five of its headquarters now have receptacles for people to drop off their unused medication. It’s a joint effort with Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation.
“Our hope in partnering with Save A Star is that we’ll be able to have receptacles at every district headquarters throughout the state so that folks can bring their unused old medication and drop that off with us," said Boerwinkle. "We’ll properly dispose of it at the evidence vault where it will be destroyed.”
Four of the receptacles are in the Chicagoland area and one is in Collinsville. Law enforcement is set to announce more plans for combating the opioid epidemic this week.