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Efforts of Walgreens Applauded In Fight Against Opioid Addiction

Tue August 16, 2016

The DuPage County Health Department, through its Prevention Leadership Team applauded the efforts of Walgreens in developing 4 new DuPage locations for the safe disposal of unused prescriptions. 

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and State Senator Michael Connelly joined Walgreens officials on Monday Aug. 15th to unveil a new safe medication disposal kiosk at the Walgreens pharmacy located at, 63 W. 87th Street in Naperville, one of the 4 new DuPage locations the company is introducing along with 41 more locations statewide.

The DuPage County Health Department, launched the RxBox program in 2009, which encourages the safe disposal of drugs at various local police departments.  Currently, the Health Department, in cooperation with local law enforcement, operates 12 DuPage disposal locations as part of its "Rx Box" effort.

Through its strong partnerships with elected officials and business leaders, the Prevention Leadership Team has worked to further encourage the use of the RxBox program and the expansion of similar efforts in retail stores.  DuPage County Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala applauded the addition of Walgreen's kiosks as a commitment by the entire DuPage Community to prevent drug misuse and abuse among youth. "The DuPage County Health Department has enjoyed the support of its elected officials who realize that combating the problem of the misuse of opioids requires coordination between different jurisdictions and among elected officials, health departments, the criminal justice system, and treatment facilities in order to dispose of the drugs and fight the epidemic."

Ayala said that Walgreen's program recognizes the problems caused by unused and misused prescriptions and its commitment strengthens the efforts of the community to fight both teen drug abuse, accidental poisoning as well as groundwater contamination.  Unused medications left in the home increase accessibility, the number one contributing factor to all misuse and abuse of prescriptions and over-the counter drugs. 

The safe disposal of drugs can prevent accidental poisonings.  Accidental poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States with 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths caused by drugs.

The Prevention Leadership Team has promoted the use of the RX Box program in an effort to reduce sobering statistics regarding teen drug abuse.  Prescription and over the counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans.  One in four teens reported using a prescription drug that wasn't prescribed for them and 90 percent of those abusing the drugs obtain it from their home medicine cabinet or the medicine cabinet at a friend's home.

Ayala said that since the inception of the Rx Box program, 70,000 pounds of unused or expired medications have been collected at its 12 local police stations and disposed of in a safe manner.  "Adding four additional locations in DuPage is just one more way that the government and business leaders are coordinating efforts to dispose of the drugs and fight this epidemic." 

An easy way to find a take-back program near your home is to use the GIS Rx Box and Medicine Disposal Map found on the DuPage County site. Please go to for more information.