Over the last few years the Task Force has been working with law enforcement throughout Lake County to grow a network of prescription drug collection boxes. In 2 and half years we have grown the network from 9 boxes to 20 boxes. Our collection numbers have gone from 7,800 pounds to approximately 12,000 pounds in 2014.
There were problems with the disposal system given the DEA only collected the drugs from participating departments twice a year, forcing department to store the bulky packages for long periods of time in their evidence rooms.
Working with our state legislators particularly State Senator Terry Link we were able to secure funding for a monthly take back day for law enforcement through SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County). Lake County States Attorney Mike Nerheim got us face to face with the DEA to establish the program's operational guidelines, and Sheriff Mark Curran has provided a officer to supervise the actual disposal event.
At the end of the day here are the most significant things we were able to determine:
- Conservatively we took 10 lbs. of scheduled prescribed narcotics and destroyed them.
- These 10 lbs. were around 500-700 pills, the street value of this type of medication is between $25-30 dollars.
- A conservative estimate of the street value of what we collected today from just 2 of the 20 box Lake County Effort was $15,000