SANGAMON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Police say opioid overdose deaths are increasing during the pandemic.
According to a press release from the Sangamon County Sheriff, studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends — that can include a medicine cabinet at home.
The release says clearing out unused medicine is essential.
From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, the Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting its 20th Take Back Day at the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.
The sheriff says people can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites. It adds last year, the DEA took in nearly 500 tons of unwanted drugs.
The DEA and its partners will take tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids, syringes, other sharp objects, and illegal drugs will not be accepted.
The DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop-off locations, provided lithium batteries are removed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 83,544 people in the U.S. overdosed during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020. The DEA says that’s the most ever recorded in a 12-month period.
“The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic,” says the release.
“Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.