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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Joan Olson (630) 407-6015 or Evan Shields (630) 407-6022

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

DuPage County Board Approves Funding for RxBox Expansion, Heroin Prevention Education

The DuPage County Board approved two drug prevention measures including an expansion of the DuPage County Health Department’s RxBox Program and continued funding for heroin prevention education programs through the Robert Crown Center for Health Education.

At its August 23 board meeting, members allocated $40,000 to expand the DuPage County Health Department’s RxBox Program. The program provides safe medication disposal boxes at participating law enforcement agencies. There are currently 12 locations in DuPage. More than 70,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription medications have been collected since the program’s inception in 2009. The allocation from the DuPage County Board allows the Health Department to expand the number of Rx Box kiosks throughout the County.

Board members also approved $24,189.40 for the Robert Crown Center of Health Education heroin prevention program to continue at 13 DuPage County middle and high schools. To date, 4,800 students, teachers and parents have participated in the Crown Center’s prevention education initiative in DuPage. 

“Due to the success of the Rx Box program, we knew expanding the number of available drop-off sites would rid our households of unused medications. That’s an important step in reducing the likelihood that someone will abuse or become addicted to those drugs,” said County Board Chairman Dan Cronin. “We want to continue our efforts to promote prevention and awareness as we work with our DuPage Health Department, Coroner Dr. Richard Jorgensen, State’s Attorney Bob Berlin, local law enforcement and our schools. We are determined to reduce the impact of heroin and opioid pain pill abuse in our community.”

“DuPage County Board’s leadership in fighting this epidemic that has swept the country is a model for communities in the State of Illinois and the nation. The DuPage Health Department is grateful to County Board Chairman Cronin and the Board Members who have repeatedly shown their dedication to limiting both the abuse of prescription drugs as well as preventing accidental poisonings by supporting the Rx Box Program and this expansion,” said Karen Ayala, executive director of the Health Department.

The initiatives are a part of the strategy discussed by the DuPage Heroin Coalition.  The group was formed in 2014 in response to the growing heroin crisis in DuPage County and is chaired by DuPage County Board member Grant Eckhoff.  

“Both heroin and fentanyl prevention education and the expansion of the RxBox Program are great ways to fight drug abuse in DuPage County. The Coalition is constantly looking for innovative ways to effectively help our DuPage families and combat heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain medication addiction,” said Eckhoff.  

DuPage Finance Committee Chairman Paul Fichtner noted, “Prevention measures like these create a lasting community impact by saving families the emotional and financial costs of drug abuse and addiction.  We look forward to deploying these additional Rx Boxes in communities throughout DuPage.”