House Minority Leader Tony McCombie hosted a successful series of prescription drop off-events in three counties. The events were held in partnership with local Sheriffs, and in line with National Prescription Take Back Day, a movement backed by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to help prevent medication misuse and opioid addiction.
McCombie’s events helped ensure that unused, unwanted, or expired prescriptions were properly disposed of. The events did just that, and safely collected dozens of pounds of prescription drugs and medications in Stephenson (15 pounds), Carroll (19.5 pounds), and Jo Daviess (20.1 pounds) Counties.
There was a little friendly competition amongst the counties, including Freeport, which collected 12 pounds at their own prescription drop off event, held on the same day.
Representative McCombie was joined by State Representative John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) in Stephenson County as well as Stephenson County Sheriff Steve Stovall; in Carroll County by Sheriff Ryan Kloepping and in Jo Daviess County by Sheriff Kevin Turner.
“I want to thank the law enforcement officers including our Sheriffs that worked with us on this event and work hard every day to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. McCombie. “We had a great turn out at these three events—a clear sign that residents are ready to work toward making our neighborhoods safer and keeping harmful drugs off our streets.”
While the event served as an opportunity for residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of old medications, some harder substances were collected, including fentanyl, which has been a rising source of overdoses across the state and nation.
“I was impressed by the event’s turnout in Stephenson and we collected nearly 15 pounds of prescription medications,” said Stephenson County Sheriff Steve Stovall. “There will always be a need for a safe way to dispose of old prescriptions and this event was a great step for our community to come together and do that.”
“With 20.1 pounds of old prescriptions, medicines, and more collected in Jo Daviess, I’m proud to say we made a profound impact in keeping kids in our community safe and our streets clean,” Jo Daviess County by Sheriff Kevin Turner.
“This event was about doing our part, to help fight the rising national trend of overdoses,” said Carroll County by Sheriff Ryan Kloepping. “Each resident that stopped by the event helped do their part to protect public safety in our area and for that I’m grateful.”
Rep. McCombie has taken a leading stand to combat the rise of fentanyl in the General Assembly. Legislation the Representative has backed would allow pharmacists and retail stores to sell potentially life-saving fentanyl test strips over the counter. Currently, test strips are classified as drug paraphernalia, which has made it impossible to make progress on identifying fentanyl in other drugs. The test strips will be able to identify if fentanyl is present in any drug, which is essential considering only a small dose (only 2 milligrams) of fentanyl can have fatal consequences.
After passing unanimously in the Illinois House, McCombie’s legislation is now awaiting further consideration in the Senate.