Milwaukee drive-thru collects pills for Drug Take Back Day

Milwaukee's Johnsons Park saw a big turnout Saturday, April 24 for Drug Take Back Day.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office organized the drive-thru, partnering with the Milwaukee Police Department and Safe & Sound.

"Normally we will host it at our substation, which COVID kind of forced us to come out and do it outside," said Kristine Rodriguez with Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office communications.

Drug Take Back Day event at Johnsons Park in Milwaukee

"I’m glad the sun is out, we thought it was going to rain today," said Asia Carter with Safe and Sound.

Bins were filled with prescription drugs, including some lethal amounts of fentanyl.

"Our hope in doing this is that we reduce drug overdoses in the city of Milwaukee," said Carter.

"It’s really important. Sometimes we don’t know what to do with our prescription pills and so we kind of hoard them in a sense," Rodriguez said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Milwaukee area has seen a rise in struggle and overdose deaths.

"It’s been really overwhelming how receptive the community has been. I have been impressed by everyone showing up," said Rodriguez. "Like, the event started at 12 and we had cars show up at 12, so, it was really awesome to see that and we’re almost filling up the boxes behind me, and I can’t be any happier."

Drug Take Back Day event at Johnsons Park in Milwaukee

Before the drive-up drug drop-off, a team picked up litter left behind at Johnsons Park -- hoping to bridge gaps in all communities and, hopefully, save lives.

"Even if it’s prescribed, it can be harmful toward us so, if we don’t need them, we should definitely get rid of them and do it safely, so that is what we are trying to do, provide that resource today," Rodriguez said.

What to do with unwanted pills

The drive-up event ended Saturday, but there will be others like it. If you have any other pills lying around that you are not using, you're asked to call the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office -- 414-278-5195 -- for information on how to dispose of them safely.

In the city of Milwaukee, medications can be taken to 24/7 disposal drop boxes at Milwaukee Police Districts 2-7 and at the Milwaukee Municipal Court site -- 951 N. James Lovell Street -- Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

If you do not live in Milwaukee County, additional resources are available by visiting the state's Department of Justice website.

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