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Wisconsinites Turn Out to Drop Off Nearly 23 Tons Worth of Drugs During April's National Prescription Drug "Take-Back" Day


22.8 tons worth of meds dropped off in a single day compares to a total of 30.1 tons dropped off during last year’s two “Take-Back” Day events in Wisconsin.


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp and James F. Bohn, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Milwaukee District Office, today praised Wisconsin residents for their participation in last month’s National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day, which resulted in nearly 23 tons (45,581.3 lbs) worth of unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs being dropped off at nearly 180 collection sites statewide. The “Take-Back” service is free and anonymous for those who wish to drop off drugs during these biannual events.


“I’m thankful that Wisconsin residents have recognized the importance of properly disposing of prescription drugs,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “These numbers reflect the volume of drugs out there that could potentially be diverted for misuse. I’m also appreciative of the DEA’s leadership in this effort and grateful to all of the law enforcement agencies that either participate or assist. These “Take-Back” Days play a role in keeping drugs off of the street, and we need to maintain Wisconsin’s commitment to this effort.”


“I commend everyone who turned over their unused drugs for proper disposal rather than getting rid of them in a way that threatens our natural resources,” DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said. “When these drugs get flushed or thrown in landfills, they can compromise the quality of our air, surface waters and groundwater, as well as our fish and wildlife.”


“DEA is grateful to everyone, including all of the local and state law enforcement and community agencies around Wisconsin that continue to support DEA’s national “Take-Back” day efforts. The total collected in Wisconsin during this most recent event clearly demonstrates that Wisconsin residents recognize the importance of properly disposing of their unused, unneeded, and expired medications,” DEA ASAC James F. Bohn said.


In Wisconsin last year, the DEA reported that a total of 60,205 pounds, or 30.1 tons, worth of prescription drugs were dropped off at collection sites statewide during the two “Take-Back” days in April and October 2012, making Wisconsin one of the largest contributors of unwanted medications in the country. In addition to the many local law enforcement agencies that participate as drop-off sites for residents, the Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin National Guard and special agents with the Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) assist with annual “Take-Back” efforts.