Winnebago County installs drug collection unit to combat drug ab - – Rockford’s News Leader

Winnebago County installs drug collection unit to combat drug abuse


Drug abuse sometimes starts in your own medicine cabinet. The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office wants to stop that by helping you safely dispose of unused medicine.

"We know that the drug abuse problem is soaring all over, especially with teenagers," said CVS Pharmacy District Manager Emad Habash.

According to a 2014 Partnership for Drug-Free Kids study, 70 percent of teens say they have easy access to their parents' medicine cabinets.

"By 2017, we want to try and save half a million teenagers from getting their hands on those drugs," said Habash.

To prevent those drugs from falling into the wrong hands, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office has teamed up with CVS Pharmacy to install a drug collection unit. Its sole purpose is to reduce prescription drug abuse by collecting unwanted medications.

"Instead of throwing them in the garbage or tainting the water system by putting them down the toilet we have an opportunity here," said Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana.

The Drug Collection Unit isn't going to cost taxpayers any money. The unit was made possible through a grant from CVS Pharmacy.

People can bring their unwanted medication, at any time or day of the week, to the Winnebago County Justice Center. Sheriff Caruana says he's not worried about people tampering with the unit.

"The box itself is pretty strong and it's bolted down pretty strong and I have some deputy's that are right there who are 24/7 so it's not a concern," Caruana said.

Deputies will dispose of the drugs along with what is confiscated by the narcotics unit. The unit is located in the lobby the Winnebago County Justice Center, which is open 24/7.

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