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Learn more about opioids and prescription drugs.

guard and discard

The “Guard and Discard” campaign was developed by the Illinois Dept. of Human Services to create education and awareness around safe ways to use, store, and discard prescription medication and other drugs.

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The problem


In 2016 more than 150,000,000 retail Rx drugs were filled by Illinois pharmacies.


In 2015, 12.5 million people nationwide used prescription opioids for non-medical use.


In Illinois, it is estimated more than 300,000 people misuse/ are dependent on opioids.

Let’s go over some basics


Pharmaceuticals also enter underground aquifers that supply 40% of the water supply in the US.

Easy access

71% of those who start to misuse Rx drugs get them from their family or friends for free or without asking.

increasing death rates

In Illinois, out of all the drug overdose deaths in 2016, 80% involved opioids.

Source: Illinois Opioid Action Plan; Kaiser Family Foundation, Illinois Dept. of Public Health, Prevention First, 2009 and 2010 U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Kinrys, G., Gold, A. K., Worthington, J. J., & Nierenberg, A. A. (2018).

how can we help?

Practice safe disposal

Do not dispose off medication in the garbage cans or down the toilet. Medicines pollute the environment they are released in.

Practice safe consumption

Sharing medication or using it without following instructions can be extremely harmful, cause accidental overdose, poisoning, and addiction.

Practice Safe Storage

Always store medicines and hazardous substances up, away, and out of sight of children. Preferably in a locked box or cabinet.

Know your disposal sites

You can always return or dispose off unused prescription medication at police station, doctors office, pharmacy, and other registered sites.

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