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Attorney General Van Hollen and DNR Secretary Stepp Partner to Promote the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Upcoming National Prescription Drug "Take-Back" Day

The Wisconsin DOJ Unveils New TV/Radio Spots to Promote

the Upcoming Take-Back Day on April 26, 2014


MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Cathy Stepp joined forces today to encourage Wisconsinites to participate in the upcoming National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day, being held in communities across Wisconsin on April 26, 2014, from 10 am to 2 pm. 


The “Take-Back” service is free and anonymous.  Individuals with unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs may drop them off at collection sites statewide.  Using your zip code, you can find a drop-off location near you by visiting the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s website:  


“We know there is a strong link between prescription drug abuse and Heroin abuse,” Attorney General Van Hollen said.  “Heroin has become a significant and pressing issue across Wisconsin.  Getting rid of unwanted prescription drugs from our shelves is one way that we can prevent their diversion and misuse.  These ‘Take-Back’ Days offer a convenient way for all of us to do our part in the fight against Heroin.”


“Wisconsinites have repeatedly shown their commitment to this issue by turning out in big numbers,” DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said.  “These ‘Take-Back’ events help to ensure these drugs are disposed of properly instead of being flushed or tossed in a landfill, which can threaten the quality of our air, surface and groundwaters, as well as our fish and wildlife.”  



Last September, Attorney General Van Hollen introduced a statewide public awareness campaign to prevent Heroin use.  The multimedia campaign, The Fly Effect, was developed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to educate teens, young adults and others about Heroin.  As part of the campaign, the DOJ will be airing throughout the month of April TV and radio spots to highlight the link between prescription drugs and Heroin, and to promote April’s Take-Back Day.  As part of the spots, one of the individuals featured in the Fly Effect campaign, Mandy, shares her story of transitioning from abusing Oxycontin as a teenager to abusing Heroin after her dealer suggested she try it.  You can view the TV spot here.


Law enforcement, community groups, families and others are encouraged to view and to share the Fly Effect materials available online at and under the “Heroin” or “Rx Drug Take-Back Day” buttons.  You can read Attorney General Van Hollen’s most recent column on this issue here.  


In October of 2013, Wisconsin residents dropped off 19.25 tons (38,506 lbs) worth of unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs during the last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  According to the DEA, which coordinates the national “Take-Back” event, Wisconsin ranked 4th in the nation in the total amount collected, trailing only the much larger states of California, Texas and New York.  In April of 2013, Wisconsinites dropped off nearly 23 tons (45,581.3 lbs) worth of prescription drugs, and throughout Wisconsin in 2012, the DEA reported that a total of 30.1 tons, or 60,205 pounds, worth of prescription drugs were dropped off, 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.