Student group among supporters of upcoming 'pill drop'

Author: Erin Blasko

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The University of Notre Dame Opioid Task Force — part of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values — is among a number of supporters of an upcoming “pill drop” in St. Joseph County.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 24), anyone with unwanted, expired or unidentified pills can safely dispose of them at one of five locations in the county free of charge and with no questions asked. Locations include:

• Clay Fire Station No. 21, 18776 Cleveland Road, South Bend.

• South Bend Fire Station No. 1, 1222 S. Michigan St., South Bend.

• Clay Fire Station No. 25, 12481 Anderson Road, Granger.

• South Bend Fire Station No. 6, 4302 W. Western Ave., South Bend.

• Indiana University South Bend, 1002 Esther St., South Bend.

Pills should be placed in a plastic bag for drop-off. No needles or liquids will be accepted.

The Notre Dame Opioid Task Force is a student task force that works with the local 525 Foundation and surgeons at Memorial Hospital in South Bend to distribute materials about pill drops and other opioid-related programs and events to the local community.

Members — many of them minors in the Science, Technology and Values Program, which offers a one-credit reading group on the opioid epidemic — assisted with publicity for this event and will be on hand Saturday to help at the drop-off sites.

“While the opioid epidemic is incredibly complicated and requires multiple types of interventions at the preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative levels, one thing we can all do to help is to clean out our medicine cabinets and get rid of not just the extra painkillers, but any leftover prescriptions lying around,” said Jessica Baron, outreach and communications coordinator for the Reilly Center and founder of and adviser to the Opioid Task Force.

“Forty-eight million Americans over the age of 12 have abused prescription drugs in some way, and we know over half of those are procured from the medicine cabinets of friends, family and acquaintances,” Baron said. “While it’s tempting to hold on to extra pills after a trip to the doctor or dentist, the best thing you can do for your community is bring them in to be destroyed so they never make it onto the streets.”

Other sponsors of the pill drop are South Bend Fire Department, Clay Fire Territory, South Bend Police Department, St. Joseph County Police Department, Indiana University South Bend, IUSB Police Department, St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office, St. Joseph County Drug Investigation Unit, Partnership for Education and Prevention of Substance Abuse, South Bend Area Opioid Task Force, Alcohol and Addictions Resource Center and 525 Foundation.

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Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127,

Originally published by Erin Blasko at on February 22, 2018.