Wisconsinites Turn Out to Drop Off 17 Tons of Drugs During September's National Prescription Drug "Take-Back"

Oct 8 2014
Wisconsinites Turn Out to Drop Off 17 Tons of Drugs During September's National Prescription Drug "Take-Back"

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp today praised Wisconsin residents for their participation in September’s National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day, which resulted in 17 tons (34,026 lbs) of unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs being dropped off at more than 175 collection sites statewide, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which coordinates the biannual “Take-Back” events nationwide.  Nationwide totals haven’t yet been released by the DEA. 


“Estimates suggest 70 percent of people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends,” Van Hollen said.  “We also know addiction to prescription drugs can lead to heroin use, which is impacting Wisconsin significantly.  New regulations announced recently by the DEA will allow more locations, such as pharmacies, to serve as collection sites, and I am hopeful that by permitting more locations -- and more convenient options -- for residents to properly and regularly dispose of their unwanted meds, we’ll see less diversion, misuse and abuse, and in turn, fewer lives lost.  I encourage everyone to help law enforcement by getting rid of your unused medications and educating your loved ones about the risk.”


“I want to thank everyone who participated in this very important effort,” Cathy Stepp, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, said. “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 water and groundwater.”


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 “Take-Back” efforts.


October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month:  Learn About “The Fly Effect”


Last fall, Attorney General Van Hollen joined local law enforcement, first responders, community leaders and others to introduce the multimedia Fly Effect prevention campaign to educate teens, young adults and others about Heroin.  Law enforcement, community groups, families and others are encouraged to view and to share The Fly Effect videos and materials in their prevention efforts.  Visit TheFlyEffect.com for more information about Heroin, personal stories and treatment resources.  Downloadable materials (including posters, brochures, fact sheets and other resources) from The Fly Effect also are available at the DOJ’s website at www.doj.state.wi.us