September 22, 2016

Safe Medication Disposal Kiosks Available at Three Lake County Walgreens Locations

New medication disposal kiosks at three Lake County Walgreens locations will allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications, at no cost. The kiosks offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

Local and state elected leaders, including Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim, Undersheriff Raymond J. Rose, along with State Senator Terry Link, joined Walgreens Regional Vice President Joe Willey to announce Walgreens’ Safe Medication Disposal Program in Lake County on Wednesday.

The officials unveiled a safe medication disposal kiosk at the Walgreens store located at 1811 Belvidere Road in Waukegan—one of three public safe medication disposal receptacles in Lake County and 45 across the state.

Lake County Board Chairman said, “We know that less supply equals less likelihood for opioid addiction. Walgreens has stepped up to combat drug abuse with this program, and I encourage Lake County residents to take action—Go through your medicine cabinets and take your unused or unwanted medications to one of these boxes. This issue didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight. We must continue to work together at the federal, state and local levels to fight this crisis that is destroying families and having a detrimental effect on our communities.”

“Prescription Drug Disposal Saves Lives. Period. We have seen too many tragic examples of lives destroyed by the misuse of prescription medication, particularly opiates. This is one way our community can help make a difference. Lake County has been a leader in our collective efforts to drive proper drug disposal. I applaud Walgreens for their leadership,” said State’s Attorney Nerheim.

Undersheriff Raymond J. Rose said, “At the end of 2014, Lake County had 17 prescription drug disposal boxes in law enforcement offices. Today, we have 28. I’m pleased to report that Lake County law enforcement collected 7,623 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs since January. We are serious about preventing prescription drugs from getting in the wrong hands and disposal boxes are easy and convenient for the public. We thank the folks at Walgreens for joining us and adding disposal boxes at three Lake County Walgreens locations, providing the public three more spots to dispose of prescription drugs.”

“By making safe medication disposal kiosks available in select Illinois stores, including the ones in Lake County, Walgreens is taking an important first step to curb the misuse of medications throughout the country,” said Joe Willey, Walgreens Regional Vice President. “As a pharmacy, we are committed to playing a role in what must be a comprehensive solution to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse.”

Walgreens is installing 500 safe medication disposal kiosks in select stores throughout the country. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours (24 hours a day at most kiosk locations). The Lake County locations include:

Buffalo Grove Walgreens - 15 N Buffalo Grove Rd
Deerfield Walgreens - 780 Waukegan Rd
Waukegan Walgreens - 1811 Belvidere Rd

September 12, 2016

MARIJUANA: The Latest Research How can it affect your student’s academics, health, and future?

Dr. Madras will answer questions & concerns parents including:

1) Can occasional use lead to marijuana addiction?
2) How does it impact college readiness?
3) How does it alter your student's developing brain?
4) Is it a gateway to other potentially deadly drugs?
5) Can it increase your teen's risk of anxiety and depression?
AUDIENCE: Open to everyone but especially valuable for parents and their teen/adolescent students. 
Using Route 22 entrance, park in LOT B and use “The Point” entrance on the West side of the parking lot. Using Port Clinton entrance, park in LOT E and use the Sports Center entrance. The West Auditorium is on the 2nd floor above the West Commons/Forum.

* Tickets are not needed for entry. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Please arrive early for best seating.
We encourage attendees to reserve a seat as soon as possible as this event is open to the larger community.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns via email .

Dr. Madras is a neuroscientist, author, educator, and public policy expert. She served as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a position unanimously confirmed by the US Senate. At ONDCP, her public health approach to Demand Reduction featured medicalization of Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) services. She has served as advisor to the National Football League (NFL), World Health Organization,and was sole expert witness for United States Dept. of Justice in California. The landmark case focused on the medical uses of marijuana.

For more information regarding the event, please visit our website Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates.
Adlai E. Stevenson High School - 1 Stevenson Drive WEST Auditorium, Lincolnshire, IL 60069 - View Map

September 7, 2016

States Receive $53 Million in Grants to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Forty-four states will receive a total of $53 million in grants from the Obama Administration to fight the opioid epidemic, the Los Angeles Times reports. Administration officials are calling on legislators to approve $1.1 billion requested by President Obama to increase addiction treatment.

The new state funds will include money to provide first responders with the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. Michael Botticelli, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said more help is needed. “Simply reviving people isn’t enough to turn the tide of this epidemic,” he said.

The state grants also include money for upgrading prescription monitoring programs, and expanding programs that use medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

June 29, 2016

Health Department Takes the Next Step to Address the Regional Opioid Crisis: The Expansion of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Services

To address the growing number of Lake County residents struggling with opioid addictions, the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center is doubling the capacity of its Medication-Assisted Treatment program. It is expanding treatment to 200 people struggling with opioid addictions through a grant of $325,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

“The expansion of our MAT program is an essential next step in the regional effort to address the opioid epidemic, which has had a devastating impact on local families and their communities,” said Mark Pfister, the Health Department’s interim Executive Director. “The expansion of this program is imperative to helping people change addictive behaviors for the long-term.”

The population of residents in need of substance abuse services has substantially increased in Lake County in alignment with national trends. In 1998, the county had 30 deaths that were attributed to substance abuse. By 2010, that number had more than tripled to 92. Opioid related deaths in 2008 were 47 and increased in 2015 to 58. Heroin-related deaths in 2008 were 30 and increased in 2015 to 42.

For decades, the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center has been the primary provider of substance abuse services for residents in the county. Its services include screening brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT), in-patient detox and rehabilitation services, outpatient substance abuse counseling, medication-assisted treatment and women’s residential services. It established an Outpatient Substance Abuse program in the 1970s to address a growing population of residents with substance abuse concerns. The program provided both drug-free treatment as well as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using methadone and Suboxone to treat opioid addiction.

In 2014 the Health Department, in concert with the Lake County Opioid Initiative (LCOI), began an initiative to save people who had overdosed on opioids. The Health Department’s actions included:
  • Instructing law enforcement officers on how to administer naloxone, a drug that temporarily reverses the effect of an opioid to people who had overdosed, using a train the trainer approach.
  • Securing a donation of $1.4 million of auto-injectable naloxone from Virginia-based kalĂ©o, enough for police officers across Lake County to carry the product in their squad cars. The first save occurred on Christmas day of 2014 and since then there have been more than 90 lives saved. Officers of 39 local police departments as well as the Sheriff’s Office now carry naloxone in their cars. 
  • Providing free naloxone training to patients and friends and family members of patients, and to nurses in school settings. 
In addition to the increase of treatment slots for the MAT program, the Substance Abuse Program (SAP) at 3004 Grand Avenue in Waukegan has been designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) allowing the Health Department to bill for the services it provides. This is critical to supporting the long term sustainability of the program. The 3004 location will become the Health Department’s ninth health center. Through the HRSA grant and the FQHC designation, the program will be able to:
  • Provide prescriptions for methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol along with primary care, substance abuse counseling and supportive services
  • Increase medical provider hours
  • Add substance abuse counselors
  • Add a licensed clinical social worker to act as a care manager
The Health Department will continue to provide information and training to providers and members of law enforcement as it increases its prevention efforts in response to this public health crisis. Continuing to educate providers will be critical in curbing the increase in addiction locally, regionally, and nationally. Countywide collaborations continue to help address the immediate needs of residents and will continue to help shape the agency’s response. The expansion of MAT would not be possible without partnerships, especially the Health Department’s collaboration with the Lake County Opioid Initiative, Nicasa, and others. To inquire about registering for the MAT program, call: (847) 377-8120.

June 23, 2016


The end of the school year brings with it memorable events such as Prom and Graduation. Unfortunately, with these events also come concerns about underage drinking.

Throughout this season, businesses throughout Lake County saw teens entering their stores attempting to purchase alcohol. This was part of a county-wide effort to continue promoting positive practices by stores and restaurants that sell alcohol. Law enforcement agencies worked with local groups and young adults to see if they could purchase alcohol with identification that showed they were under 21.

“Consistency from community to community and monitoring underage drinking issues will help us be successful in addressing this problem and saving lives. Our desire is to see 100% compliance, but it is refreshing to see the majority of businesses realize the seriousness of this issue and did not sell alcohol to the underage participants.” commented Bruce Johnson, Chairman of the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force.

Sale of alcohol to a person under 21 years of age is illegal under local and State laws and is a
Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, fine or probation.

Liquor compliance checks are part of an initiative by the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force which was formed to combine the efforts of the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association and the Lake County After School Coalition in the prevention of underage consumption of alcohol and drug use. This group is made up of a diverse group of citizens including community members, parents, law enforcement personnel and other professionals.

Department Checks Violations
Bannockburn 2 0
Barrington 10 1
Buffalo Grove 19 1
Deerfield 10 0
Grayslake 10 0
Gurnee 49 0
Highland Park 15 2
Kildeer 13 1
Lake Bluff 3 1
Lake Forest 10 0
Lake Zurich 40 1
Lincolnshire 20 0
Mundelein 15 1
Riverwoods 3 0
Vernon Hills 50 0
Total 269 8