Drug Take Back Day Breaks ANOTHER Record

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wisconsin did it again! We had yet another wildly successful DOJ Drug Take Back Day last weekend.


Get ready for the numbers:


Last spring we gathered up almost 40,000 pounds, which broke the prior record. This time, we broke the record again with 44,698 pounds – 22.35 tons - of unused medications collected and safely incinerated. By the way, incineration is the only way to ensure the chemicals in these medications do not end up in our water table.


We had 226 police departments and hundreds of law enforcement officials who worked alongside the DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation to get the job done. We had 225 permanent drop boxes at police and sheriffs’ departments statewide and 97 Drug Take Back Day events specially put on in communities to encourage medication drop-off.  Another record: at this October collection, we had 33 law enforcement agencies join us since the May collection as new disposal sites.


Why is law enforcement so committed to this effort? Because they know it will truly make a difference.


First, they are tired. Police are tired of responding to opiate overdose death scenes. They are tired of the destruction they see every day from opiates to people who had so much promise, and to their families. They are tired of the dramatic spikes in nearly every type of crime that are being driven by abuse of opiates.


Second, it is because they know. They know that 70% of the people addicted to heroin first got hooked on prescription opiate painkillers. They also know that 70% of the abused painkillers were obtained improperly from family members or friends. That’s right - they are coming from our own homes. Law enforcement knows that the key to prevention efforts is to start by getting medications out of our medicine cabinets at home.


So they rolled up their sleeves and worked up a sweat packing boxes of collected medications. They loaded them onto trucks, and then watched with satisfaction as those medications left their communities.


Thank you to everyone who made this another great success in our effort to beat Wisconsin’s opiate epidemic. Thank you to all of the Wisconsinites who got the message and stepped up to help make our state safer and healthier. I am proud of us all!