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What’s in your medicine cabinet, Geneva/ St. Charles/Batavia?

In preparation for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and local participating organizations like Northwestern Medicine, are encouraging the public to do two things: first, to take inventory of their prescription drugs at home; and second, to take action.

The semi-annual event is designed to educate the public about proper handling of prescription medications, especially controlled substances. The DEA’s message in handling your medicine is clear: “Keep them safe. Clean them out. Take them back.” Unused, unaccounted for or expired medications at home are a public safety issue leading to accidental poisoning, abuse, overdose and death. Improper disposal in the trash or by flushing, can get meds into the wrong hands just as fast and have environmental consequences as well.

“Our personal medications can easily be a source of temptation for visitors entering our homes through everyday roles such as babysitters, cleaners, repair people, friends of children, and neighbors,” explains Geneva internist, Dr. Algimantas S. Kerpe.

“We unintentionally risk contributing to the opioid epidemic when we don’t know what’s in our medicine cabinets or can easily identify when prescriptions are missing,” he continued. “They ultimately end up in the wrong hands and used for the wrong purpose. Take Back Day not only increases awareness about best practices for managing medicine at home, but it also gives people both a motivation and a method for proper disposal through these special collection days each year.”

Totals from the last TAKE BACK DAY held on April 15 featured 5842 collection sites nationwide and a staggering 494,046 pounds of prescriptions, both expired, unused and controlled substances.
Northwestern Medicine will host five collection sites throughout Chicagoland, between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 27. Two locations in the Western Suburbs can be found at NM Convenient Care St. Charles (on the east side of the parking lot by Kirk Road), located at 2900 Foxfield Road, Suite 100, St. Charles and at NM Central DuPage Hospital (at the West parking lot across the street on Winfield Road), located at 25 N. Winfield Road, Winfield.