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Wisconsin collects 63,541 pounds of unused drugs during Drug Take Back events, collection ranks third in nation

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – More than 60,000 pounds of unused medications were collected during Drug Take Back events in April, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced Wednesday. 

Officials say Wisconsin collected a total of 63,541 lbs. of unused drugs at nearly 390 permanent drug collection receptacles located throughout the state. The total was more than Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa combined and since 2015, 401,769 lbs. of unused and unwanted medications have been collected and disposed of by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. 


Statewide, 312 police and sheriffs’ departments hosted 163 Drug Take Back events on April 28. Across the state, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, and hospitals have provided 390 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.

Once again, Wisconsin was a national leader on Drug Take Back Day in April. Wisconsin had more law enforcement agencies participate in the biannual event than any other state in the country, and Wisconsin had the third largest collection in the nation. Only Texas and California collected more unused drugs and medications.

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 312 law enforcement agencies who participated in this April’s Drug Take Back Day.

The 63,541 lbs. of prescription drugs were boxed, palletized, shrink wrapped, and secured in three Fuchs Trucking semi-trailers for transportation to Covanta Energy Corporation in Indianapolis, where the drugs were incinerated on May 9.

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