Walgreens collecting unwanted drugs at 12 suburban pharmacies

 
 
Updated 8/15/2016 5:44 PM
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  • Officials from Walgreens join state Sen. Mike Connelly, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis in introducing a drug takeback kiosk at the pharmacy chain's Naperville location at 63 W. 87th St. The kiosk is one of 45 at Illinois Walgreens stores to accept unwanted prescription or over-the-counter medication for free disposal.

    Officials from Walgreens join state Sen. Mike Connelly, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis in introducing a drug takeback kiosk at the pharmacy chain's Naperville location at 63 W. 87th St. The kiosk is one of 45 at Illinois Walgreens stores to accept unwanted prescription or over-the-counter medication for free disposal. Courtesy of city of Naperville

A dozen Walgreens sites across the suburbs now are not only places to get medications, but also to return them.

The pharmacy chain on Monday announced the installation of secure drug takeback kiosks at 45 Illinois locations, part of a national effort to offer them at 500 stores by year's end.

Removing unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions from homes is one of the best ways to avoid accidental or intentional misuse, Walgreens officials and drug prevention advocates say. An estimated 6.5 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 2014, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Such misuse can lead to heroin addiction or overdose, which is part of the reason drug overdoses kill nearly 44,000 people nationwide each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly half those deaths come from prescriptions.

That's why state and local leaders applauded the creation of the Walgreens takeback program at one of its Naperville locations, at 63 W. 87th St.

"Naperville is grateful to Walgreens for offering another convenient opportunity for the public to dispose of these items and keep them out of the hands of those who might misuse them," Mayor Steve Chirico said in a news release.

Most Walgreens drug takeback kiosks are inside 24-hour pharmacies so people can dispose of their prescriptions, including controlled substances, and their over-the-counter medications for free at any time.

Walgreens takeback locations in Aurora, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Downers Grove, Elgin, Glen Ellyn, Hanover Park, McHenry, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Villa Park and Waukegan join similar drop boxes offered by police and fire departments and county offices across the region.

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