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The Evanston Police Department and Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation have established a pill disposal and collection program. The purpose of this program is to collect and safely dispose of unwanted and unused medications, thus keeping them out of the hands of individuals who might otherwise become victims of prescription drug abuse.

 • Prescription pills are killing more of our youth than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and inhalants combined.

• Teens abuse prescription drugs more than any illicit street drug except marijuana. Some seventy percent of people who abuse prescription drugs say they get them out of the medicine cabinets of family or friends.

• Every day 2,500 teens use prescription drugs for non-medical use for the first time.

• Propelled by an increase in prescription narcotic overdoses, drug deaths have doubled in the last decade and now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States.

The problem has reached epidemic proportions and threatens the lives of millions of Americans. The Evanston Police Department, the City of Evanston and Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation have partnered to battle this epidemic.

The pill-collection unit has been installed in the front lobby of the Evanston Police Department. The following items are acceptable for disposal: prescription medications, including controlled substances, all over-the-counter and pet medications, samples, vitamins, liquids and creams. Items not acceptable for deposit in the collection unit are needles/sharps, thermometers, IV bags, bloody waste and hydrogen peroxide.

The Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation was founded in Highland Park by David and Gail Katz and their daughter, Melissa Katz Gold, after the death of David and Gail’s 25-year-old son and Melissa’s brother, Daniel, from an overdose of prescription drug medication in June, 2007. The Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation was created to educate the public about the dangers and consequences of prescription drug abuse and addiction, and to provide tangible methods to remove unwanted and unused medications from America’s homes.

Additionally, the City of Evanston and EPD are concerned for the environment. Sixth Ward resident Judy Chiss was quoted as saying, “It’s a good example of a relatively inexpensive but effective idea that is a convenience to residents and a protection of our most precious commodity – water.” Her suggestion led Sixth Ward Alderman Mark Tendam to get this program up and running with the police department.

The Evanston Police Department front lobby is open all hours of the day and night for medication/prescription-drug drop-offs. Further questions about dropping off medications can be directed to the Community Strategies Bureau of the police department at 847-866-5019.

Those who wish to make a donation in support of the Drug Disposal Program or learn more about Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation will find information at www.SAVEASTAR.org or 847-579-1300 ext. 146.