Wisconsin collects 60,000+ pounds of medications during Drug Take-Back Day

MADISON -- Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced on Tuesday, November 21st that 63,941 lbs. of prescription drugs were collection on Saturday, October 28th during the national drug take-back day. The state collected more unused medications than Illinois and Indiana combined at nearly 350 permanent drug collection receptacles.

In a news release, Schimel issued the following statement:

“Wisconsin families heard the message – the opioid epidemic starts in your medicine cabinet – and they got to work collecting and disposing of unused and unwanted medications at permanent drug disposal boxes throughout our state,” said Attorney General Schimel. “And without the help of the DEA, local law enforcement, hospitals, and pharmacies, Drug Take Back Day wouldn’t have been nearly as successful. Communities are engaged in fighting the opioid epidemic, and they’re making sure these powerful medications don’t fall into the hands of someone struggling with or prone to addiction.”

To see what it takes to process more than 60,000 lbs. of unused medications, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) shared this time lapse of the drugs’ processing.

According to a news release from Schimel, statewide, 266 police and sheriffs’ departments hosted more than 130 Drug Take-Back events on October 28th, 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. Proper drug disposal is essential to preventing prescription painkiller abuse. Research has shown that 70% of initial painkiller abuse starts when drugs are obtained improperly from family members or friends.

The news release says 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 Department of Military Affairs, 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.

The 63,941 lbs. of prescription drugs have been boxed, palletized, shrink wrapped, and secured in three Fuchs Trucking semi-trailers for transportation to Covanta Energy Corporation in Indianapolis, where the drugs will be incinerated. An official weight will be assigned by Covanta Energy prior to destruction.