Wisconsin Law Enforcement: Number One in Nation, Cause of Record-Breaking April Drug Take Back Day Collection

May 22 2017

MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the official collection numbers for April’s Drug Take Back events reached a record-breaking 66,830 lbs. of unused medications and Wisconsin had more law enforcement agencies participate in the biannual event than any other state in the country.


“Wisconsin’s law enforcement officers are leading the nation in their approach to prevent the opioid epidemic from further ravaging our communities and last month’s drug disposal is just the latest proof,” said Attorney General Schimel. “In addition to drug disposal, hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the state are training officers how to investigate drug overdoses and the use of the life-saving overdose antidote, Narcan.”


To show what more than 66,000 lbs. of unused medications looks like, the Wisconsin Department of Justice shared this time lapse of the drugs’ processing.


267 police and sheriffs’ departments from 69 Wisconsin counties hosted 150 Drug Take Back events on April 29, and have provided 328 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 boxes 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 66,830 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.


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 267 law enforcement agencies, representing 69 Wisconsin counties, who participated in this April’s  Drug Take Back Day.


The initial drug collection total of 66,039 lbs., provided on May 8, 2017, was a preliminary weight. An official weight was assigned by Covanta Energy prior to destruction.