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The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 26, 2014, from 10 am to 2 pm at collection sites across Wisconsin. The Take-Back service is free and anonymous for those who wish to drop off expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs during these biannual events, hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Check with your local law enforcement agency, or beginning April 1, 2014, you may search by zip code at the DEA website for a list of participating local agencies near you.
“We know prescription drugs serve as a gateway to abuse of Heroin, which has become a cheaper and easier to get alternative for those addicted to opiates,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “These Take-Back Days serve as a way for all of us to do our part in preventing prescription drug abuse and diversion. Painkillers left unmonitored in household medicine cabinets can be targets for theft and abuse. You can help local law enforcement and potentially save lives by dropping off your unused drugs and spreading the word ahead of April 26.”
Beginning in April, the Wisconsin Department of Justice will air a public service message throughout the state to remind Wisconsin residents to drop off their unused or unwanted prescription drugs. The TV spot features Mandy, who transitioned from abusing Oxycontin as a teen to Heroin. Mandy also is featured in The Fly Effect Heroin prevention public awareness campaign launched by the Department of Justice in late September 2013. You can learn more about Mandy by clicking here.
According to the DEA’s 2013 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, “CPD [controlled prescription drugs] abuse continues to be the nation’s fastest growing drug problem. Rates of CPD abuse remain high, with individuals abusing CPDs at a higher prevalence rate than any illicit drug except marijuana. Pain relievers are the most common type of CPDs taken illicitly and are the CPDs most commonly involved in overdose incidents. The availability of heroin continued to increase in 2012, likely due to high levels of heroin production in Mexico and Mexican traffickers expanding into white powder heroin markets in the eastern and midwest United States. Further, some metropolitan areas saw a recent increase in heroin overdose deaths. Law enforcement and treatment officials throughout the country are also reporting that many prescription opioid users have turned to heroin as a cheaper and/or more easily obtained alternative to prescription drugs.”
Last fall, Wisconsin residents dropped off 19.25 tons (38,506 lbs) worth of unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs during the last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. According to the DEA, which coordinates the national “Take-Back” event, Wisconsin ranked 4th in the nation in the total amount collected, trailing only the much larger states of California, Texas and New York. In addition to the many local law enforcement agencies that participate as drop-off sites for residents, the Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin National Guard and special agents with the Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) assist with annual Take-Back efforts.