04282018 Manar Drug Take Back Staunton 650

Drug takeback response exceeds expectations; plans under way for 2019

BUNKER HILL – A three-hour drug takeback event in Macoupin and Montgomery counties Saturday morning resulted in hundreds of pounds of old and unused medications being removed from homes and taken to local pharmacies for proper disposal.

Participating pharmacies reported collecting 50 pounds or more of unwanted medications each, including dozens of bottles containing the kinds of controlled substances that fuel opioid addiction.

State Senator Andy Manar expressed gratitude to everyone who participated – particularly the citizens who dropped off medications and the pharmacists who made their stores available as collection sites.

“We put out the call for people to help us fight opioid abuse locally, and the response was incredible,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “I think people are grateful when an opportunity like drug takeback day comes along each year because it’s a useful reminder and a simple way to help the community and the environment.”

Twelve independent pharmacy locations in towns throughout Macoupin and Montgomery counties served as collection sites for unwanted human and pet medications Saturday. Some of the results:

  • Michelle’s Pharmacy in Bunker Hill, Carlinville and Gillespie reported 150 pounds of medications returned at its three locations, including 84 bottles of controlled substances and more than $8,400 in mail-order pharmaceutical waste.
  • Sullivan’s Drugstore locations in Hillsboro, Litchfield and Raymond nearly filled a 30-gallon garbage can with pills after they were removed from the bottles.
  • Sav-Mor Pharmacy sites in Nokomis and Virden each collected more than 50 pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals.
  • Sullivan’s Drugstore in Carlinville saw the return of numerous unwanted controlled substances, including hydrocodone, an addictive opioid pain medication.
  • Drop-offs were swift at Sullivan’s Drugstore in Staunton but less so than during last year’s takeback event, which was interpreted as a positive sign that people have been disposing of their medications.

“The success of this event is a testament to the power of government, businesses, citizens and nonprofit groups coming together to achieve a common community objective,” Manar said. “By working together, we can help break the cycle of opioid addiction.”

Saturday’s drug takeback was organized by Manar’s office with the assistance of county law enforcement authorities, public health officials, local independent pharmacies and others. This was the second year for the event, and plans are under way for next year’s takeback.

Macoupin County sponsors included Sheriff Shawn Kahl, State’s Attorney Jennifer Watson, the Macoupin County Public Health Department and the Macoupin County Anti-Meth Coalition.

Montgomery County sponsors included Sheriff Jim Vazzi, State’s Attorney Bryant Hitchings and the Reality Coalition.

Many pharmacies and law enforcement offices offer permanent collection sites year round. Locally, they include the police departments in Litchfield, Hillsboro, Gillespie, Carlinville and Mount Olive, and the Macoupin and Montgomery sheriff’s departments. Customers also can check with local pharmacies for collection policies.

Saturday, April 28, is National Drug Take Back Day, and you can do your part to help fight opioid abuse by clearing your home of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter human and pet medications.

Pharmacies and police departments everywhere have takeback events planned for Saturday. Check here to see what's planned in your community. There also are permanent, year-round dropoff sites at many local police departments and sheriff's offices.

Locally, I have teamed up with independent pharmacies, law enforcement officials and addiction treatment and prevention advocates in Macoupin and Montgomery counties to host a bi-county drug takeback event Saturday morning.

It's happening from 9 a.m. until noon at Michelle's Pharmacy, Sullivan's Drugstore and Sav-Mor Pharmacy locations — 12 of them in all — throughout the two counties. Scroll down for a complete list of dropoff sites.

All you have to do is bring in any old medications — even unwanted flu and blood pressure medicines — and unneeded pet medications. It's all a potential magnet for opioid addicts, unscrupulous teenagers and thieves.

I hope you'll help us spread the word and take advantage of this opportunity. Watch the video below to find out why this is such an important effort all year long. Not only will you be helping the environment by properly disposing of medications, you'll be ridding your home of potentially dangerous substances that are probably just taking up space.

DrugTakebackFlyer550

 

04262016 Manar NewsomSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar welcomed Isabelle Newsom, a sophomore at Chatham Glenwood High School, to the Capitol Thursday as his senator for the day.

Newsom, 16, of Chatham is the daughter of Melissa Feld and Craig Newsom. She is involved in dance and band.

While at the Capitol, Newsom accompanied Manar to committee hearings and joined him on the Senate floor for a busy afternoon of debate and votes on key pieces of legislation.

Would waive tuition for those who agree to teach in hard-to-staff schools

SciencePhoto350SPRINGFIELD – College students who agree to teach science, math and vocational education in hard-to-staff schools could get a substantial break on the cost of their education under a plan introduced by State Senator Andy Manar.

The proposal, which aims to get teachers into the pipeline and ease the statewide teacher shortage, received bipartisan support in the Senate Thursday and will move to the House for consideration.

“We have every reason to incentivize our young people to attend Illinois universities, earn Illinois degrees, put down roots in Illinois towns, teach in Illinois schools and contribute to the Illinois economy,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “This is a bold plan, and done correctly, it can make a real difference for school districts in central and southern Illinois communities where the teacher shortage has been extremely difficult to overcome.”

Senate Bill 3047 creates the Grow Your Own STEM and Vocational Education Teachers Act. Illinois public universities could waive tuition, fees and on-campus housing costs for students who agree to pursue bachelor’s or advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, math or agriculture and agree to teach related subjects in hard-to-staff Illinois schools.

They then would teach such subjects as math, natural sciences, and career and vocational education, including agriculture, technology, industrial arts, trades, health care and information technology. These are all subject areas for which many schools have difficulty filling teaching vacancies.

To take advantage of the offer, college students would have to maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and also would be required to reimburse the university if they fail to teach at least three years in a K-12 school or five years at a college or university.

The legislation also creates the Create Your Own Dual Credit Teachers Program, which allows universities to waive tuition and fees for teachers who want to teach dual-credit courses in high school. Teachers must have a master’s degree and could pursue up to the maximum 18 graduate hours necessary to qualify to teach dual-credit courses. They would be required to teach at an Illinois high school at least five years and would have to fully reimburse the university if they breach the agreement.

The initiatives would be subject to annual appropriation, and the state could cap the number of students who are able to take advantage of the programs based on the need for teachers in Illinois from year to year. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and its Education Foundation, as well as various statewide education organizations, support the legislation.

“Manufacturers applaud Senator Manar for helping address the skills gap that exists today in the workplace,” said Mark Denzler, vice president and chief operating officer of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “The Grow Your Own STEM Teachers Act will help ensure that we have the capacity in our schools to teach important vocational education.”

Manar agreed.

“We have to get more teachers into the pipeline and into classrooms,” Manar said. “With this plan, we can send a strong message that we’re willing to invest in our young people right here in Illinois, and we hope they’re willing to invest in us.”

 

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