P2D2

By July 13, 2018News
P2D2, which stands for Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal, began in Pontiac Illinois during 2007-2008 when Pontiac Township High School teacher Paul Ritter was asked by his wife what to do with old medicines in their home. Not knowing the answer, he decided to task his ecology students with research on the issue. The students were surprised to find that there was not a formalized program for disposing of prescription drugs or medicines. The students learned that scientists with the U.S. Geological Society had detected drugs such as antibiotics, anti- depressants, birth control pills, seizure medication, cancer treatments, painkillers, tranquilizers and cholesterol-lowering compounds in various groundwater sources. It was also determined that wastewater treatment methods in the U.S. are not designed to remove many of these chemicals from our water supply. For years, people have been told not to throw away old medicines but to flush them down the toilet. These actions resulted in drugs getting into waterways and causing concerns with increases in cancer, hormone and fertility problems, and drug resistance. Mr. Ritter’s original inspiration, coupled with the research of his ecology students has led to widespread involvement, including participation within the law enforcement community. In fact, P2D2 is now adopted in 15 states. Your Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, in cooperation with the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, now coordinates secure disposal locations at various County Sheriff’s offices around the state. Each location is equipped with secure drop-off boxes that residents can use to dispose of unwanted drugs and medicines. Each location uses a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. With the critical nature of the drug crisis in our state and nation, coupled with the positive benefits of proper disposal, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association is helping to lead the way for more effective education to safely and effectively rid our communities of unwanted drugs and medications.

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