Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Recovers Piles of Pills in Mequon
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Prescription drug collection events took in hundreds of pounds of pills on Saturday following a new awareness push from Wisconsin's Department of Justice.
The agency launched a new website this year called "Dose of Reality: Prevent Prescription Painkiller Abuse in Wisconsin". It outlines how bad the problem has become in the state.
The main page starts a slideshow which includes the figure that there's been a 260% increase in overdoses for Wisconsinites ages 12-25 during the last decade.
During the weekend, pharmacy students at Concordia University in Mequon started collecting the prescription and non-prescription pills early Saturday morning.
"This is my fourth or fifth medication collection. And I'm still amazed at what we get from the community and what's left in peoples cabinets," Robert Wolf, a member of the Concordia Student Pharmacy Association, said.
Student volunteers processing the medication said they've seen bottles dated as far back as the early 80's.
And Wisconsin's DOJ reports there's a wider epidemic. 70% of people who abuse painkillers get them through friends and relatives - and perhaps the most shocking statistic - prescription drug overdoses kill more people than any street drug.
Health officials also warn that prescription drugs should not be flushed because it's difficult to remove the chemicals from the water system.
The drugs collected at the Mequon event will be taken by Ozaukee County authorities and then sent to Indiana. There, they'll be incinerated by DEA officials.