Fighting A Deadly Epidemic At Drop-Off Sites

TO GO ON TRIAL ON MONDAY. CRAWFORD WAS INDICTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY WEARING A JUDGE’S ROPE AND PRESIDING OVER SEVERAL TRAFFIC CASES BACK IN 2016. IN THE WRONG HANDS, THEY CAN RUIN A LIFE. WE ARE TALKING OPIOIDS. OVERDOSES ARE UP 66% IN ILLINOIS FROM 2016 TO 2017. THAT’S WHY HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE EVERYONE TO SAFELY DISCARD LEFTOVER PRESCRIPTIONS IN DROP BOXES LIKE THIS ONE FOUND AT POLICE STATIONS, PHARMACIES, EVEN LIBRARIES. IN THIS ORIGINAL REPORT, ROSEANNE TELLEZ TOOK OUR CAMERAS BEHIND THE SCENES IN LAKE COUNTY TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DRUGS. Reporter: EVERY TWO MONTHS, LAW ENFORCEMENT LINED UP OUTSIDE OF THIS SOLID WASTE AGENCY IN LAKE COUNTY DROPPING OFF BOXES OF DRUGS WHICH ARE CARDED IN, SORTED, AND TOSSED INTO BINS. THERE ARE NEEDLES. WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL. Reporter: ALL UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF A LAKE COUNTY DEPUTY. WHY IS THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY SO IMPORTANT? INTEGRITY MEANS EVERYTHING IN A PROGRAM LIKE THIS. Reporter: THAT’S BECAUSE THE DRUGS TOSSED IN THIS BEEN ARE IN HIGH DEMAND. THEY ARE OPIOIDS LIKE HYDROCODONE, AND OXYCODONE. HERE, THEY ARE COUNTED, THEN PLACED INTO BARRELS OF GASOLINE WHERE THEY DISINTEGRATE. LIKE COUNTY EXPECTS TO COLLECT 13,000 POUNDS OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS THIS YEAR WITH A STREET VALUE OF $500,000. IN 2012, WE HAD 45 DEATHS FROM OPIOID OVERDOSES IN THE COUNTY. LAST YEAR, WE HAD 12. Reporter: BILL IS WITH THE LAKE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND CREDITS THE INITIATIVE. ONE OF THE MAJOR REASONS IS BECAUSE WE ARE GETTING OPIOIDS OUT OF MEDICINE CABINETS. Reporter: A PLACE WHERE YOUNG PEOPLE OFTEN TURN TO FEED THEIR ADDICTION. THEY OPEN A MEDICINE CABINET AND MAY FIND VICODIN FROM A TOOTH EXTRACTION THAT YOU HAD 4 YEARS AGO THAT YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT. Reporter: WHEN PEOPLE TURN IN THE USED DRUGS, THEY ARE HELPING TO FIGHT A DEADLY EPIDEMIC. DO YOU THINK THIS IS HELPING TO SAVE LIVES? ABSOLUTELY. PEOPLE WANT THE DRUGS SO BAD, THEY ARE FINDING ALL SORTS OF WAYS TO TAKE THEM OUT OF MEDICINE CABINETS. YOU HAVE HEARD THAT KIDS LOOK IN THEIR PARENTS MEDICINE

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