CHAMPAIGN — Prescription and over-the-counter drugs you once bought and didn't use don't just take up extra space in your medicine cabinet.
They can be safety hazards that even careful families have failed to consider.
If you'd like to get rid of them, police and Walgreens will take them off your hands with a collection set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at area Walgreens drugstores.
Walgreens will accept unwanted and expired medications but won't be able to take medical waste such as needles and syringes.
Just drive into the parking lot and turn your medications over at the collection box. A store manager and law enforcement official will be there, said Dee Cooley, administrative assistant at Walgreens district office in Champaign.
The box will be sealed, and the medications taken away by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is the national sponsor of this fourth annual Drug Take-Back Day.
Some of the drugs you may want to get rid of haven't expired. They're just no good to you anymore, so why keep them around? For example, Cooley said, her husband has switched medications several times.
"I've got 14 different kinds of pills that are just no good," she said.
The DEA works with community partners to help rid homes of unwanted medications to help prevent drug dangers and abuse.
In three previous events, the DEA collected nearly 1 million pounds of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites across the U.S., the agency says.
Among the big hazards lurking in home medicine cabinets: painkillers.
Overdoses involving prescription painkillers are at epidemic levels, and now kill more people in the U.S. than heroin and cocaine combined, according to a report late last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among the participating Walgreens conducting collections in the area are those at:
— 841 Bloomington Road, C.
— 302 E. University Ave., U.
— 104 N. Lombard St., Mahomet.
— 220 S. Century Blvd., Rantoul.
— 400 W. Fairchild Ave., Danville.
— 108 N. Market St., Monticello.