Please dispose of unused, harmful drugs the proper way

Collection Sites:

Now Open!

Highland Park Police Department
(in the lobby)
1677 Old Deerfield Road
Highland Park, IL 60035
24 Hours

North Shore Health Center
(in the foyer)
1840 Green Bay Road
Highland Park, IL 60035
Call for hours: (847) 984-5300



  • Prescription medications (except controlled substances)
  • All over-the-counter medications
  • Medication samples
  • Pet Medications
  • Vitamins & Supplements
  • Medicated ointments, lotions,
    creams, and oils
  • Liquid medication in leakproof containers
  • Homeopathic Remedies
  • Suppositories

Pills are accepted in any packaging, including glass, plastic container, baggie (Ziploc) or foil. Patrons should write the name of the drugs on the packaging before bringing it to the take-back site. A permanent marker can be used to mark out personal information. Patrons may also remove their labels prior to drop off.

Not Accepted:

  • Needles/sharps
  • Syringes with needles
  • Thermometers
  • Controlled prescriptions
  • IV bags
  • Bloody or infectious waste
  • Personal care products
  • Empty containers
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Illegal drugs & narcotics
  • Controlled substances

If your community is interested in a pill and Drug Disposal Program, click here to email your request to Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation.





The goal of the P2D2 program, started by students at Pontiac High School in Illinois, is to keep prescription drugs out of our water supply and out of the hands of children. In Highland Park, the Police Department is teaming up with Highland Park High School's Green School Initiative and the SAVE A STAR Drug Awareness Foundation to dispose of prescription drugs in an environmentally safe way. Drugs that are disposed of at local collection sites will be collected by the Police and incinerated.

Environmental Motivations
In 2008, Chicago city officials tested drinking water from Lake Michigan. Trace amounts of multiple prescription drugs were found, including a by-product of nicotine, acetaminophen, an anti-seizure drug, and caffeine.

The build-up of these drugs is dangerous to both people and local wildlife who depend on clean water.

There is no way to prevent prescription drugs from entering our water systems if they have been flushed down the drain or toilet. Once in the water, the chemicals become integrated with the water and most treatment plants are unable to remove such chemicals from the water supply. Fish and other wildlife in Lake Michigan are negatively affected by these drugs, showing signs of neurological or physiological damage.

Public Safety Concerns
Why are there unused medications? Four out of five patients leave their doctor's offices with at least 1 prescription. When doctors discontinue medications, unused portions sit in medicine cabinets. When consumers buy over-the-counter drugs in large quantities, they often expire. In both cases, these leftover drugs are easily accessible, and pose a danger to children who may accidentally ingest these drugs, or may be consumed by others who use these drugs for recreational purposes.

In 2006, 700,000 emergency room visits were attributed to prescription drug overdoses. Because chemicals and compounds react with each other, taking certain medications together often proves deadly. Between 1999-2005, unintentional deaths from drug poisoning increased 68.3%, mostly from prescription drugs. An estimated 48 million people over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in their lifetime.

For a listed of controlled substances published by the DEA, click here.

For more information:

On research done in the great lakes:

On the P2D2 program:

On drug abuse:


Tom Koulentes
Highland Park High School
Assistant Principal

Highland Park
Police Department

Thomas Spanos
Business Liaison Officer

Terri Olian,
City Councilwoman

Drug Awareness Foundation

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