Nationwide event offers safe, easy way to dispose of unneeded medications.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging Illinoisans to take advantage of events taking place on Saturday, October 28th, as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. IDPH is joined in the awareness effort by Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), and the Overdose Response Strategy program, led by the CDC Foundation and the national HIDTA program.

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and various local organizations are hosting events around the state to collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other forms of prescription medication that may be outdated or are no longer needed. Such medications should not be disposed of in the trash, so the collection events offer a free, safe, and convenient means of disposing of such drugs.

“Prescription drugs that are still in the house after they are no longer needed pose a clear and preventable safety risk,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Those medications may be accidentally ingested by a child or otherwise misused. Prescriptions that are no longer needed for a medical purpose should be disposed of, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

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In 2022, Illinois Poison Control received 26,636 reports of accidental ingestion of medications in children ages 0-5, and 3,792 reports of teen suicide attempts by medication overdose involving young people between the ages of 13 and 19.

Take-Back Day offers free and anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at close to 5,000 local drop-off locations nationwide. Since its inception, the program has removed more than 8,600 tons of medication from circulation.

Collection sites will not accept syringes, sharps, and illicit drugs. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in their original container. The cap must be tightly sealed to prevent leakage.

For more information and to find a collection site near you, visit

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