The typical illicit drug provider is no longer a shady character working on a dimly lit street corner, wearing dark sunglasses even in the dead of night.

Now, the person providing these potentially dangerous substances is often those who live among us, namely our family members and friends, our co-workers and classmates.

Most do so unwittingly. The unintentional mistake they make is failing to discard unused medications they acquired through a doctor’s prescription. Others take advantage of the easy access, including teenagers and even preteens.

These drugs are of all types, but some are sedatives and stimulants so potent, they can cause great harm, even death. They are intended to provide relief for the gravely ill, and those who consume them for recreational purposes play a form of Russian roulette.

Fortunately, enough public education initiatives have been undertaken to make people aware of the potential peril posed by items left unintended in the medicine cabinet. A true sign of success came Saturday as a record 1,125 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs were turned in for safe disposal during a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day held at Northfield Square mall in Bradley.

The previous record was set a year ago when 1,075 pounds were collected. That means a ton of drugs have been taken out of circulation in a year’s time.

Along with those who forfeited unused drugs, we commend The Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group, local law agencies, Pledge for Life Partnership, Riverside Healthcare and the Drug Enforcement Administration for the role each played in what KAMEG Director Chris Koerner called an overwhelming success. May the success pick up further steam next year when a new record is hopefully established.

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