Drug Take Back Day: Prescription opioids a prime concern

Drug Take Back Day, an effort that focuses on safe and responsible disposal of prescription drugs, was held nationwide Saturday, April 30.

At Concordia University, a myriad of unwanted pills and liquids were welcomed. It's not always certain where the drugs came from, but pharmacy students have a good idea of where they could have ended up.

"We know a lot of young children and pets do overdose on medication," said student Bessma Dabaan.

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The opioid epidemic continues to plague families and communities in more ways than one. The prescription drugs can be potentially toxic for many reasons.

"It needs to be taken care of properly, not get into the water works or the ground," said Denise Wuehr, who dropped off drugs.

The event, police said, could also curb the opioid epidemic – and perhaps other community problems.

"I think it’s an excellent program," Mequon Police Det. Chuck O'Connell said. "Unfortunately there has been increases in heroin overdoses, and we believe that there’s a gateway drug that leads into that – those gateways are prescription pills.

"If somebody knew that prescription drugs like oxycodone is in the house, there could be a burglary at that residence or could be a theft."

As someone who will someday administer drugs, Dabaan continues to learn the importance of why they may need to be taken back.

"It really makes you think, if patients are having this much medication sitting in their house how effective is the prescribing? How effective is people actually taking medication?" said Dabaan.

More than 135 Drug Take Back Day events were planned across Wisconsin. For those who did not make it to one, many police departments and counties offer drop box locations.

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