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Wisconsin ranked third in the nation in the total amount collected.
MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp, and James F. Bohn, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Milwaukee District Office, today praised Wisconsin residents for their participation in April’s National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day, which resulted in 25 tons (50,485 lbs.) of unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs being dropped off at 200 collection sites statewide. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which coordinates the biannual “Take-Back” events nationwide, Wisconsin ranked third in the nation in the total amount collected, trailing only the much larger states of California and Texas.
“I thank Wisconsin residents for their repeated commitment to this Take-Back effort. Every year, concerned citizens turn out in impressive numbers to do their part to prevent prescription drug and Heroin abuse,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “Through their engagement and awareness, and law enforcement’s aggressive enforcement, we can reduce and prevent drug abuse.”
“I want to thank everyone who participated in this very important effort,” said Cathy Stepp, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Dropping off unused drugs for proper disposal, rather than discarding them in landfills or dumping them down drains, is a great step toward protecting our natural resources, especially our drinking and groundwater.”
“The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most highly regulated industries, yet prescription drug abuse continues to be a significant problem. When pharmaceutical controlled substances are dispensed, it’s crucial that the drugs are used only as the patient's physician prescribed and intended,” said Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge James F. Bohn, who is responsible for DEA’s operations in Wisconsin. “The National Prescription Take-Back Initiative is an excellent way to reduce the potential for misuse by providing a safe and secure method for people to clean out their medicine cabinets and properly dispose of unused medication,” he added.
The “Take-Back” service is free and anonymous for those who wish to drop off unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs during these events twice a year. During the last “Take-Back” Day in October of last year, Wisconsin residents dropped off 19.25 tons (38,506 lbs) worth of unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs at nearly 180 collection sites statewide. According to the DEA, Wisconsin ranked 4th in the nation in the total amount collected in October 2013, 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.