JOLIET, Ill. – In partnership with the Joliet Fire Department (JFD), State Representative Natalie Manley today announced a pilot project to provide free Deterra Drug Deactivation and Disposal kits to the public to assist community efforts in combatting the opioid crisis. The kits, which safely destroy unwanted and expired medications, are now available at 12 locations throughout the city.
“Unused prescription drugs can significantly contribute to the opioid epidemic, creating opportunities for misuse,” said Manley. “Providing a safe and effective way to dispose of unwanted and expired medications is a simple step to combat this crisis. I am thankful to the Joliet Fire Department for stepping up as our first distribution point.”
Deterra Drug Deactivation Kits break down prescription and over-the-counter medicines, such as pills, patches, liquids, creams, and films, making them inactive when water is added. The pilot program was implemented with assistance from the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization (HERO) and Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. The Joliet Fire Department volunteered to serve as the first distribution agency for the kits, which will be available at front desks of Joliet City Hall, both Joliet Police Department stations, and at the nine JFD stations throughout the city.
“We’re proud to be making this life-saving resource available to residents,” said Joliet Fire Department Chief Greg Blaskey. “Opioid addiction impacts every community, and these kits will help ensure that unused medications do not reenter circulation.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 100,000 overdose deaths occurred in the United States at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic between April 2020 and April 2021. Seventy-five percent of these deaths were attributed to opioid misuse. As more Will County residents have struggled with opioid addiction during the pandemic, HERO has worked to provide avenues of support for families and their loved ones who are struggling with addiction.
“Battling opioid abuse remains an ongoing priority and I urge the public to use these kits to dispose of unwanted medications,” said Bertino-Tarrant. “This pilot project is a critical first step in making this resource available to residents throughout the county.
The Deterra Drug Deactivation Kits are available at the following locations, along with being made available on every JFD fire truck and ambulance:
- City Hall – 150 W. Jefferson Street
- Joliet Police Department Main Station – 150 W Washington Street
- Joliet Police Department West Sub Station – 7196 Caton Farm Road
- JFD Station #1 – 101 E. Clinton St.
- JFD Station #3 – 450 Laraway Rd.
- JFD Station #4 – 868 N. Draper Ave.
- JFD Station #5 – 661 Mason Ave
- JFD Station #6 – 2049 Oneida St.
- JFD Station #7 – 125 Houbolt Rd.
- JFD Station #8 – 2293 Essington Rd.
- JFD Station #9 – 2300 Michas Dr.
- JFD Station #10 – 1599 John D. Paige Dr.
“Stress and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to an increase in opioid use and overdoses, including misuse of prescription drugs,” said Dr. John Roberts, President of HERO. “Deterra Drug Deactivation Kits provide an easy way for residents to dispose of medications before they can contribute to this crisis. I look forward to identifying future opportunities to distribute this resource.”
Residents with questions can contact Rep. Manley’s office at (815) 725-2741.