Valley West Hospital in Sandwich to distribute Narcan nasal spray at Drug Take Back Day

Naloxone, or Narcan, binds to opioid receptors in the brain and can reverse and block the effects of opioids. It can begin working within minutes to restore breathing, consciousness, and save a life.

Northwestern Medicine team members will distribute Narcan (naloxone) and provide education about opioid overdose prevention during National Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27.

Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital and Valley West Hospital will offer drive-up locations where community members can dispose of unused medications.

“These events provide a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused opioids and other prescription medications,” Jessica Wynn, MSN, RN, chairman of the Pain Committee at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, said in a news release from Northwestern. “Every day more than 130 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. If you flush medications, they can contaminate the water supply.”

More than 80 percent of deaths from prescription opioid overdoses were found to be accidenta, according to the release from Northwestern. Narcan reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and can be lifesaving when it is given to a person in crisis. Studies show that many people who use opioids are first exposed to the prescription medications in the homes of family members of friends, according to the release..

In October 2023, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital collected more than 60 pounds and Valley West collected 11 pounds of unused medications, according to the release. The Drug Enforcement Administration said the non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks as the second most-common form of drug use in America, according to Northwestern Medicine.

Sharps and liquids will not be accepted at the drug take back event.

The local Northwestern Medicine drive-up collection sites are located at:

  • Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, Medical Records Building (one driveway south of main hospital), 2731 Sycamore Road, DeKalb
  • Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital, 1302 N. Main St., Sandwich
  • Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care St. Charles (on the east side of the parking lot by Kirk Road), 2900 Foxfield Road, St. Charles

For more information on prescription drug misuse, visit To learn more about Northwestern Medicine, visit