1,414 Pounds of Prescription Drugs Collected by Sheriff’s Office, DEA

May 4, 2022Press Release

COOK COUNTY, IL – The Cook County Sheriff’s Office collected 1,414 pounds of pills during recent National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events, which allow residents to safely dispose of potentially harmful medications, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

“We need to get unused and unwanted prescription drugs safely out of homes so they don’t end up being misused or harming someone,” said Sheriff Dart. “These events are a great way to reduce the potential for poisoning and stop medication from falling into the wrong hands, which it so commonly does.”

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office runs one of the largest prescription drug take back programs in the country, monitoring or managing 120 easily accessible and permanent drop-off locations. Since 2017, the program has collected and properly disposed of more than 155,172 pounds of prescription and non-prescription drugs, including 7,167 pounds so far this year.

The public can learn more about the program by calling toll-free 1-84-GOT USD RX (1-844-688-7379) or visit www.cookcountysheriffil.gov/rx/home to view an interactive map of collection locations. 

On Saturday the Office held a take back event at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect as part of the National Drug Take Back Initiative. The event was co-hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, State Sen. Ann Gillespie and State Rep. Mark Walker. Office take back and recycling events also took place throughout the county in celebration of Prescription Drug Take Back Day over the weekend.

“The successful collection and disposal of unneeded medications during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are not possible without DEA’s law enforcement agency partners, including the Cook County Sheriff’s Office,” said Robert J. Bell, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Chicago Field Division. “The large amounts of unwanted prescription drugs collected on Take Back Day each year reflect our shared commitment to the safety and health of our communities.”

Rep. Walker said, “Ensuring proper recycling of prescription drugs and electronics benefits everyone by keeping our drinking water and environment safe. I’m thankful to have partnered with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA on National Drug Take Back Day and would encourage residents to connect with our local municipalities if they ever need drug recycling services.”

Sen. Gillespie said, “Events like these keep our community safe by proactively disposing of prescription drugs that may fall into the wrong hands. I am grateful to have the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and DEA as partners in preventing substance abuse from growing in our state.”