Wisconsin’s Drug Disposal Program National Leader; Drug Abuse Prevention Campaign Wins Awards

Nov 21 2017

MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the official collection numbers for October’s Drug Take Back events reached 63,941 lbs. of unused medications, the largest fall drug take back collection to date. Once again, Wisconsin had more law enforcement agencies participate in the biannual event than any other state in the country. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) was also recognized by Madison Media Professionals with three WAVE awards for “Drugged Driving: One and the Same,” a drugged driving prevention ad DOJ produced jointly with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) as part of the ongoing Dose of Reality campaign to end prescription painkiller abuse in Wisconsin.


“The message that prescription painkillers can be deadly has spread throughout our state and folks have been taking action to remove these drugs from their medicine cabinets in order to safely dispose of them,” said Attorney General Schimel. “The recognition we recently received from Madison Media Professionals for the Dose of Reality campaign reinforces the fact that our message is educational and causing folks to take action.”


266 police and sheriffs’ departments hosted 130 Drug Take Back events on October 28 and have provided 349 permanent drug disposal drop boxes, giving citizens a convenient, environmentally-friendly, and anonymous way to dispose of unused medications all year long. Wisconsin has more drug disposal sites than 46 other states, falling behind only California, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, AG Schimel announced the installation of a permanent drug collection site in the lobby of the Risser Justice Center in downtown Madison. Proper drug disposal is essential to preventing prescription painkiller abuse. 70% of initial painkiller abuse starts when drugs are obtained improperly from family members or friends.


The 63,941 lbs. of prescription drugs were boxed, palletized, shrink wrapped, and secured in three Fuchs Trucking semi-trailers before being incinerated at Covanta Energy Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana. The initial drug collection total of 60,257 lbs., provided on November 1, 2017, was a preliminary weight. An official weight was assigned by Covanta Energy last week, prior to destruction.


Drug Take Back Day is a collaborative effort between public and private sector partners and would not be possible without the support of Covanta Energy, Fuchs Trucking, Indiana State Police, Waukesha County, Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin State Patrol, U.S. DEA, and the 266 law enforcement agencies who participated in this October’s  Drug Take Back Day.


Dose of Reality, is a statewide prevention campaign designed to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse and its effect on the opioid epidemic. The campaign was launched in September 2015, and has prevention messages for the medical community, students, coaches, parents, educators, and employers. This new message for seniors and caregivers, which was created through a partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), will include information and resources unique to seniors and caregivers, including posters and flyers for senior centers and elder healthcare facilities. Anyone can download these free materials and share with their community at doseofrealitywi.gov/program-materials.


Madison Media Professionals is an organization made up of individuals who work in disciplines that contribute to the creation of visual communication. DOJ and DOT won the following recognitions for the “Drugged Driving” commercial: Sound Design, Broadcast Commercial, and Judge’s Choice Award.


WAVE Awards