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Hospitals to distribute Narcan nasal spray at National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events

Northwestern Medicine, Drug Enforcement Administration partner to host community sites

Northwestern Medicine team members will distribute Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray and provide education about opioid overdose prevention during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22. All eight hospital sites will also offer drive-up locations where community members can safely dispose of unused medications.

“We will distribute Narcan spray as another way to address the opioid crisis that is affecting communities throughout Illinois and across the country,” said Sterling Elliott, PharmD, BCMTMS, a clinical pharmacist at Northwestern Medicine and assistant professor of orthopaedics at Feinberg School of Medicine. “More than 75 percent of drug overdose deaths are related to opioids, and we must do all we can to educate community members. Narcan reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and can be lifesaving when it is given to a person in crisis.”

In addition to illegal and illicit opioids, unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue that can lead to potential accidental poisoning, misuse and overdose. Northwestern Medicine will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by hosting eight collection sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. Community members can safely dispose of their unused medications at the drive-up locations.

“Studies show that many people who use opioids are first exposed to the prescription medications in the homes of family members or friends,” Elliott said. “National Drug Take Back Day is a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused opioids and other prescription medications. If you throw unused medications in the trash, they can be retrieved and used, or illegally sold. If you flush them, they can contaminate the water supply.”

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the nonmedical use of prescription drugs ranks as the second most-common form of drug use in America.

“The success of the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is possible only with our many law enforcement partners, and with community-minded healthcare providers like Northwestern Medicine,” said Sheila G. Lyons, special agent in charge of the DEA Chicago Division. “The large amounts of unwanted prescription drugs collected on Take Back Day reflect our shared commitment to the safety and health of the people we serve.”

The eight Northwestern Medicine drive-up collection sites are located at:

  • Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, East Entrance roundabout, 25 North Winfield Road, Winfield
  • Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital, 12251 South 80th Avenue, Palos Heights
  • Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, Bays Medical Building entrance, 900 North Westmoreland Road, Lake Forest
  • Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital, Medical Office Building #2 (use driveway on north side of the building), 10370 Haligus Road, Huntley
  • Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care St. Charles (on the east side of the parking lot by Kirk Road), 2900 Foxfield Road, St. Charles
  • Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital Medical Records Building (one driveway south of main hospital), 2731 Sycamore Road, DeKalb
  • Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital, 1302 North Main Street, Sandwich
  • Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital, 250 East Superior Street, Chicago

Sharps and liquids will not be accepted, and Take Back Day is for community members, not for commercial organizations.

Find information about safe medication storage and disposal at

For more information about prescription drug misuse, visit