Antioch police have paired with drug awareness foundation Save a Star to put a pill disposal box in the lobby of the police station.
Police Chief Craig Somerville said the disposal box is meant for the safe disposal of unwanted or expired medications. It's part of a collaboration between the police department and Save a Star's Pill Collection and Disposal program.
"It (opiate usage) is woven into our society now. There's just so much out there," Somerville said. "Opiate addiction is a real problem."
Safe disposal of unneeded medications is a safeguard against accidental overdose for children and one step toward dealing with the countywide problem of opiate addiction, he said. It also is beneficial to the environment because it keeps medications out of landfills and the water supply, officials have said.
There are several other pill collection units in Lake County, including one in Libertyville's police station set up by Save a Star and another set up by the Lake County Health Department at its clinic in Highland Park.
The Save a Star foundation was founded by the family of Daniel Katz, a Highland Park 25-year-old who overdosed on OxyContin in 2007. The pill disposal program is just one of the organization's many programs aimed at reducing prescription abuse in Lake County.
"I really believe it's good for the environment, for the water supply, and for kids, so that these things don't fall into their hands," Somerville said.
Save a Star's pill disposal boxes will accept liquid medications and ointments in addition to prescription, over-the-counter and pet medications, and homeopathic remedies, all provided they are in sealed containers.
The Antioch pill disposal box will be available every day of the week in police station lobby at 433 Orchard St. For more info on disposal sites in other towns, call the Save a Star Foundation at (847) 579-1300.