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Start of Statewide Drug Take Back Program in Illinois

Start of Statewide Drug Take Back Program in Illinois

Many people have old and expired pills just sitting in the back of their medicine cabinets.

If they do ever get around to getting rid of them, most people are quick to throw the entire pill bottle in the trash, but this is not the safest option.  Too many addicts or those vulnerable to abusing these medications could get their hands on them.

What Is a Drug Take Back Program?

A drug take back program is a program that is used to collect and then safely dispose of expired or unused medications and prescription drugs. Along with helping to keep these drugs out of the wrong hands, these programs help raise awareness about prescription drug abuse. These drug take back programs can operate on a national, state, and local level.

The Need for an Illinois Drug Take Back Program

Currently, individual health departments and law enforcement agencies across Illinois have their own drug take back programs or special drug take back days. There is even a national drug take back day that these entities can participate in, but there is no statewide drug take back program in Illinois, yet.

With the opioid epidemic causing devastation across Illinois, many are looking to find solutions. A big part of this problem is the rise in the abuse of prescription drugs. From 2015 to 2017, the rate of overdose deaths from prescription opioids in Illinois increased by more than 75% even though the opioid prescription rate decreased in the same time.1 Prescription drug addiction treatment may be able to help reduce the number of opioid overdoses for people who are already addicted, but these medications can still easily fall into the wrong hands and many people are still vulnerable to developing an addiction.

A statewide drug take back program in Illinois could help prevent this from happening and keep the wrong people from getting a hold of these drugs. Not only could this program keep some of these forgotten prescription medications from being abused, but it could also be the first step in keeping people from turning to harder opioids. One study found that 86% of intravenous heroin users had misused opioid pain relivers before turning to heroin.2 If fewer people started abusing these prescription painkillers, it could lead to a drastic decrease in the number of people needing heroin addiction treatment later on.

If you or someone you care about is engaging in drug abuse of any kind, get help before it gets worse. Our Gilman drug rehab works with people to overcome their substance abuse problems and move forward with their lives.

To get more information about our programs and our facility at Banyan Heartland, reach out at 888-280-4763.


  1. NIH - Illinois Opioid Summary
  2. NIH - Prescription Opioids and Heroin
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Start of Statewide Drug Take Back Program in Illinois
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