New this year: Expanded drop-off sites, Rx pet medications to be accepted

PillBottle350BUNKER HILL – Residents of Macoupin and Montgomery counties will be able to dispose of unwanted medications during a drug take back event at independent pharmacy locations throughout the region on Saturday, April 28.

This is the second year for the event, which is organized by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

With opioid, heroin and prescription drug abuse on the rise throughout Illinois, including in rural communities, it is important that people responsibly dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications, public health and law enforcement authorities warn.

“Unfortunately, the forgotten contents of household medicine cabinets often help to fuel opioid and prescription drug addiction,” Manar said. “I urge everyone to take advantage of our drug take back event April 28 and clear their homes of old, unused and unwanted prescriptions and medications. Doing so is one way to help local authorities battle the opioid epidemic right here at home.”

The take back is scheduled for 9 a.m. until noon April 28. It will occur simultaneously at 12 locations throughout the bi-county area.

Macoupin County drop-off sites:

  • Bunker Hill: Michelle’s Pharmacy, 809 S. Franklin St.
  • Carlinville: Michelle’s Pharmacy, 274 N. Broad St., and Sullivan’s Drugstore, 920 W. Main St.
  • Gillespie: Michelle’s Pharmacy, 120 S. Macoupin St., and Sullivan’s Drugstore, 113 S. Macoupin St.
  • Mount Olive: Sullivan’s Drugstore, 105 W. Main St.
  • Staunton: Sullivan’s Pharmacy, 101 E. Main St.
  • Virden: Sav-Mor Pharmacy, 105 E. Jackson St.

Montgomery County drop-off sites:

  • Hillsboro: Sullivan’s Drugstore, 325 S. Main St.
  • Litchfield: Sullivan’s Drugstore, 320 E. Union Ave.
  • Nokomis: Sav-Mor Pharmacy, 110 E. State St.
  • Raymond: Sullivan’s Drugstore, 801 N. Obannon St.

The event is free and available to the public. Area residents are welcome to drop off unwanted medications at any of the sites. New this year is that pharmacies will accept unused and unwanted prescription pet medications.

A complete list of items that will be accepted:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter drugs from individuals and households
  • Pet medications
  • Schedule II-V controlled drugs
  • Prescription waste
  • Transdermal patches
  • Liquids and ointments
  • Items containing sodium bicarbonate or effervescent compounds that must be dissolved first with water

Items that will not be accepted:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Hazardous pharmaceuticals
  • Medical waste / infectious waste
  • Sharps, needles, syringes
  • Drugs or waste from hospitals and health facilities
  • Radioactive items
  • Ignitable materials
  • Aerosols

Studies show that most teenagers who abuse prescription drugs get them from home medicine cabinets. Prescription drug addiction leads to increased heroin and opioid abuse.

The drug takeback event is being organized by Manar with the help of Michelle’s Pharmacy, Sullivan’s Drugstore and Sav-Mor Pharmacy. Co-sponsors include Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl, Montgomery County Sheriff Jim Vazzi, Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jennifer Watson, Montgomery County State’s Attorney Bryant Hitchings and the Macoupin County Public Health Department.

Additional supporters of the effort include the Macoupin County Anti-Meth Coalition, HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield and the Reality Coalition of Montgomery County.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has designated April 28, 2018, as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to raise awareness about the importance of disposing of unwanted prescription medication and educating people about prescription drug abuse.

Category: Latest News

Senate committee votes to update Illinois statute for first time since 1980

Teacher350SPRINGFIELD – Ensuring teachers earn a livable minimum salary is one significant step Illinois can take to recruit more educators into rural and downstate classrooms and address the ongoing shortage, State Senator Andy Manar said today.

The Senate Education Committee approved his measure raising Illinois’ minimum mandated salary for full-time teachers for the first time since 1980.

“Fewer talented young people are going into the teaching profession for numerous reasons, one of which is pay. Would-be teachers can get a higher salary right out of college in other areas of the workforce, which his opposite of our priorities and our needs in this state,” he said.

Senate Bill 2892 updates Illinois statute by increasing the minimum mandated annual salary for full-time teachers to $40,000.

The statute has not been updated in 38 years. Currently, minimum mandated salaries are set at $11,000 for a teacher with a master’s degree, $10,000 for those with bachelor’s degrees and $9,000 for teachers with less than a bachelor’s degree.

Manar said there are teachers in his Senate district who have master’s degrees but live under the federal poverty level.

“To me, this is an issue of respect – for the teaching profession and for the credentials we ask teachers to bring to the table,” Manar said.

“Today, Illinois is investing record amounts of money in schools that tend to have the least competitive salary schedules. There are hundreds of empty classrooms all over the state in communities with enormous challenges and the highest rates of poverty because they can’t recruit teachers,” he said. “Updating Illinois’ minimum mandated teacher salary is a good place to begin addressing the problem.”

Category: Latest News

TAYLORVILLE – State Senator Andy Manar will host traveling office hours in Taylorville the evening of April 3 to assist residents who have questions, need help navigating government red tape or have concerns about other matters.

The event is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3 at the Taylorville Municipal Building, 115 N. Main St.

Appointments are encouraged but not required. To schedule a time, call Senator Manar’s Bunker Hill office at 618-585-4848. Walk-in visits also are welcome.

Constituents who need help with an issue but are unable to make it April 3 are welcome to call or visit Senator Manar’s district offices any time to speak with a staff member. The locations and phone numbers are:

  • Bunker Hill office, 115 N. Washington St. – 618-585-4848
  • Springfield office, 119A Capitol Building – 217-782-0228
  • Decatur office, Macon County Office Building, 141 S. Main St., Suite 502 – 217-429-8110
Category: Latest News

Plan guarantees continued health care, employment in central Illinois

TMHSPRINGFIELD – The six critical access hospitals that serve Macoupin, Montgomery and Christian counties will not experience an interruption in vital federal funds under a bipartisan deal that was reached in Springfield.

The deal, signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner Monday in Chicago, is the framework for modernizing Illinois’ $3.5 billion Medicaid Hospital Assessment Program. The federal government must sign off on the state’s plan. The deadline is June 30.

Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) toured every hospital in Senate District 48 in November and heard grave concerns from administrators about Illinois’ proposed redesign of the assessment program and whether it would be approved and submitted for review in time.

“This program is a vital source of funding for rural hospitals that treat low-income patients and serve people who rely on the Affordable Care Act for insurance,” Manar said. “For lawmakers, failing to meet the deadline was not an option. It would have been detrimental to hospitals all over Illinois.”

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Category: Latest News

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Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228
Fax: (217) 557-3930

Decatur Office:
Macon County Office Building
141 S. Main St., Suite 502
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone: (217) 429-8110
Fax: (217) 429-8018

Bunker Hill Office:
115 N. Washington, P.O. Box 636
Bunker Hill, IL 62014
Phone: (618) 585-4848