July 22, 2014

Wisconsin participates in drug take back day

It’s time again to get rid of your old medicine during National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day this weekend.

If you’ve got unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs, now’s the time to gather them up and drop them off at collection sites throughout the state. Chris McNichol is special agent in charge of the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). “It’s an opportunity for people to surrender these unwanted medications at local police departments at no cost to them.”

In April of this year, Wisconsin residents dropped off nearly 23 tons (45,581.3 lbs) of prescription drugs at 180 collection sites statewide. Throughout Wisconsin in 2012, the DEA reported that a total of 60,205 pounds, or 30.1 tons, worth of prescription drugs were dropped off at collection sites during the two “Take-Back” days in April and October 2012, making Wisconsin one of the largest contributors of unwanted medications in the country.

Taking the medications to these locations ensures that pharmaceutical waste is properly disposed of, McNichol says, and kept out of the waterways. “The DNR, of course, is concerned about the environmental risks of disposing of medications by flushing them down the toilet, that kind of thing.”

In addition to proper disposal, it’s also important to monitor prescriptions at home to prevent misuse. Attorney General Van Hollen continues working to prevent abuse of meds before it leads to Heroin abuse, which is a serious problem in our state.

The national “Take-Back” service is free and anonymous. Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website to find a drop-off location near you. National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day is being held in communities across Wisconsin Saturday, October 26, 2013, from 10 am to 2 pm.