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Substance abuse coalition seeking incinerator for drug disposal

Officer Dan Pauley of the Woodstock Police Department holds a bag of prescription drugs that was dropped off at the Woodstock Police Department during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Officer Dan Pauley of the Woodstock Police Department holds a bag of prescription drugs that was dropped off at the Woodstock Police Department during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The Lake in the Hills Police Department recently announced it temporarily would be suspending its prescription drug collection program.

Ashley Eccles, communications coordinator for the department, said this was because of the lack of adequate space to store such medications and because the department lost its ability to dispose of these items through local resources. The department collects about 60 pounds of medication a month and disposes of it when about 400 pounds are collected, she added.

To add another outlet for local law enforcement to dispose of its drugs, the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition is working with the sheriff’s office and a partner foundation to obtain a portable incinerator for county-wide use.

Laura Crain, drug-free program coordinator for the coalition, said police departments collect a majority of their prescription drugs from the biannual National Prescription Drug Take Back Days.

“But for smaller departments, if they don’t have a large storage area, they cant advertise collections since they can’t drop [drugs] off for six months,” Crain said.

Crain said the incinerator would be about $4,000, which would be put up by the coalition’s partner foundation, and the sheriff’s office would maintain possession of it.

Because the device is portable, Crain said departments could use it at their own stations, but the coalition also is working on a burn schedule.

For other drug disposal locations in McHenry County, visit the substance abuse coalition’s website. Items that might not be acceptable include liquids, IV bags and solutions, needles and inhalers.

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