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Legislation Sponsored by the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition is Signed into Law Making it Easier to Dispose of Unused Prescription Drugs

Post Date:08/31/2017 3:17 PM

PRESS RELEASE

August 31, 2017

LEGISLATION SPONSORED BY THE MCHENRY COUNTY SUBSTANCE ABUSE COALITION IS SIGNED INTO LAW MAKING IT EASIER TO DISPOSE OF UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

 The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition is pleased to announce legislation it proposed, Senate Bill 680, has recently been signed into law by Governor Rauner.  The bill amends the Safe Pharmaceutical Disposal Act to allow pharmaceuticals collected by a city, village, or municipality to be destroyed by a destruction device by a law enforcement agency. 

 “Recent experience has shown that unused prescriptions, especially opioids, only stop truly being a threat when they are destroyed,” said Patrick Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney and co-author of the bill.  “This bill allows police agencies to immediately destroy those unused prescription drugs that citizens are encouraged to voluntarily turn over.”  

 Jason Sterwerf, the Chairman of the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition, described the bill as "a beneficial piece of legislation which addresses an important need in our community."

 Currently, police may only destroy those illegal and prescription drugs acquired during the course of a criminal investigation.  Those drugs turned over by the public must be stored in evidence until the Drug Enforcement Agency picks them up for destruction at federal facilities.  This inefficient process can result in large backlogs of illegal and prescription drugs sitting in police evidence lockers for months awaiting retrieval by the DEA.        

 The Coalition is currently working with partners to acquire an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency approved incinerator that law enforcement can use to destroy the drugs collected. 

 The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition wishes to thank Senator Pamela Althoff and Representative Barbara Wheeler for sponsoring the bill and shepherding it through the enactment process.