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Wed January 18, 2012

DUPAGE COUNTY-Prescription drugs can be as dangerous as street drugs to DuPage County teenagers. Parents can keep drugs away from their teens by removing unwanted prescription drugs from their medicine cabinets and properly disposing of them at any of the 12 RxBOX collection sites located throughout DuPage County.

Studies by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency show a direct link between first-time teenage drug users and the home medicine cabinet. The Partnership for a Drug Free America reports that approximately 2,500 teenagers use prescription drugs every day to get high for the first time. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including taking medications from parent's and grandparent's home medicine cabinets.

Families who remove medications from their homes also reduce the risk that their teenagers will advance from prescription drug abuse to using illicit drugs, including heroin.  Studies have found a link between abuse of prescription painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin and later initiation to heroin.  A 2010 study by Roosevelt University found that one third of the young adult heroin users they interviewed became addicted to prescription drugs and later transitioned to heroin. 

Unneeded medicines are susceptible to misuse and abuse.  The simple act of cleaning out your medicine cabinet could prevent teenage substance abuse and most importantly, it could save a life. 
The RxBOX is a free service offered to DuPage County residents by the DuPage County Health Department, in partnership with a dozen municipal and county law enforcement agencies and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.  RxBOX safely removes unwanted medications from homes, as well as keeping children safe from accidental poisoning and contributing to a better environment.
Launched by the Health Department in 2009, the RxBOX program collects medications that otherwise might have been flushed down the drain or placed in the garbage. The materials are removed periodically from the RxBOX locations and safely incinerated by a hazardous waste contractor provided by the Illinois EPA.
Since the inception of RxBOX, the Health Department has collected just over 7.5 tons of medications, or 15,000 pounds. Residents should note that needles are not accepted in RxBOX containers and medications may be placed in clear plastic bags to save space inside the collection boxes.

Residents can dispose of their old medications at any of the following RxBOX locations:

  • Addison Police Department, 3 Friendship Plaza, Addison, IL 60101
  • Bloomingdale Police Department, 2015 Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108
  • Burr Ridge Police Department, 7660 S. County Line Rd # 1, Burr Ridge, IL 60527
  • Carol Stream Police Department, 500 N. Gary Avenue, Carol Stream, IL 60188
  • DuPage County Sheriff, 501 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187
  • Glendale Heights Police Department, 300 Civic Plaza, Glendale Heights, IL 60139
  • Lemont Police Department, 416 Main Street, Lemont, IL 60439
  • Lisle Police Department, 5040 Lincoln Avenue, Lisle, IL 60532
  • Oak Brook Police Department, 1200 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook, IL 60521
  • Schaumburg Police Department, 1000 W. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg, IL 60194
  • Wheaton Police Department. 900 W. Liberty Drive, Wheaton, IL 60187
  • Wood Dale Police Department, 404 N. Wood Dale Road, Wood Dale, IL 60191

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.  

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