Homes in Maine Township will be safer for kids and teens after this month's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Take Back Day, held on Saturday, April 26. Local Take Back sites are located at the Des Plaines Police Department (1420 Miner St.), Niles Police Department (7000 W. Touhy Ave.) and Park Ridge Police Department (200 Vine Ave). The event on April 26 is the seventh opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal at any of the above locations between 10 am and 2 pm. The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.
Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons (over 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds--more than 1,400 tons--of pills. Maine Township is able to operate permanent prescription drug disposal boxes installed at the Des Plaines, Niles and Park Ridge Police Stations because of a collaborative effort among the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation (MCYAF), local police, and the Save A Star Foundation.
"Death by prescription drug abuse has overtaken traffic fatalities as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, said MCYAF Executive Director Dr. Teri Collins. "It is a quiet tragedy that affects families across the nation. If the drugs are not present in the home, the opportunity to abuse is reduced. We encourage everyone to look through your cabinets for unused and expired drugs and take advantage of not only the DEA Take Back Day on April 26 but also the drug drop-off boxes available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at our local police stations.
Removing leftover drugs from homes keeps them out of the hands of young children who might ingest them
by accident and also helps prevent misuse or abuse by teens and adults. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines--flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash--both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide Maine Township residents with a foundation to make healthier choices. MCYAF works with parents, schools, police, youth, government, health care providers, and social service, faith and civic organizations toward a common goal of healthy youth. MCYAF secures federal and state grants as well as corporate and private donations for programs and services that promote improved health for residents. For more information, see www.mcyaf.com or contact us at (847) 858-7090.