Here’s what you can do with those expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs that are taking up room in your medicine cabinet:

Bring them to Evanston police headquarters at 1454 Elmwood Ave. between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27.

They will dispose of them at no charge…and with no questions asked.

The local turn-in is part of a national effort sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration that last April resulted in more than 780,000 pounds of prescription drugs collected at nearly 6,100 sites, involving more than 4,400 state and local law enforcement partners.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, according to the DEA.

The agency contends that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. 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. 

The DEA cites studies that 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.

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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