As a part of Nationwide Prescription Takeback Day, the Oak Park Township will now settle for vaping merchandise in addition to undesirable and expired medicines on April 24.
“Maybe there’s some youth out there who wants to ditch their vape. This would be a good way to do that,” mentioned Kelly O’Connor, Oak Park Township prevention providers supervisor.
Between 10 a.m. and a pair of p.m., April 24, drop by the primary township workplace on Oak Park Avenue and drop off previous medicines, in addition to vaping paraphernalia, together with accumulating JUUL pods, vape pens and cartridges. Hypodermic needles won’t be accepted.
“Like the opioid epidemic, the vaping epidemic is alive and well,” mentioned O’Connor. “We still have a lot of kids who are getting addicted to nicotine through vaping devices. We’re just trying to encourage and bring awareness to that issue as well.”
The vaping merchandise and medicines can be safely disposed of, stopping the medicine from being misused, resulting in unintentional poisonings or overdoses.
A program coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Nationwide Prescription Takeback Day occurs twice a yr in spring and fall. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, final spring’s prescription takeback day was canceled.
As soon as all the pieces has been collected, Oak Park police decide up the haul of deposited medicine.
The haul is then weighed and recorded. That quantity is added to the DEA’s nationwide database, which exhibits the full weight of medication collected all through the nation.
The DEA recorded 492.7 tons of prescription medication collected throughout 4,587 collaborating websites for final October’s Nationwide Prescription Takeback Day. Oak Park’s contribution was a collected 85 kilos, in keeping with O’Connor.
That is the primary yr the DEA is together with vaping merchandise within the Nationwide Prescription Takeback Day assortment efforts.
“People complain a lot that those little cartridges are strewn about through parks and alleys,” mentioned O’Connor.
As a substitute of littering or tossing them within the trash, deliver vaping paraphernalia to the township.
“E-cigarettes and vape pens can contain lead, mercury and often lithium-ion batteries,” mentioned O’Connor. “These materials can become toxic to humans and animals.”
If littered, the candy smells coming off of fruit-flavored vaping cartridges might entice unsuspecting squirrels and babies, O’Connor believes.
“They do leak,” she mentioned. “The liquid that’s in them has a lot of nicotine in it so you shouldn’t necessarily be touching them because it does absorb into your skin.”
The township will even be making a gift of drug deactivation kits and medication lockboxes to maintain medicine safely out of the attain of curious palms. Lots of the kits and lockboxes had been donated by the Rotary Membership of Oak Park-River Forest and The Rx Abuse Management Initiative (RALI).
O’Connor invitations all to take part in Nationwide Prescription Takeback Day by swinging by the township April 24. Those that can’t make it may possibly nonetheless get rid of their medicines and vaping merchandise by dropping them off at both the Oak Park or River Forest police stations as each function prescription drug assortment websites.