MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced a record-breaking 66,039 lbs. of unused medications were collected at Drug Take Back events on Saturday, April 29, 2017 and at more than 300 permanent drug collection receptacles located throughout the state. To show what more than 66,000 lbs. of unused medications looks like, the Wisconsin Department of Justice shared this time lapse of the drugs’ processing.
“I am so proud of the many thousands of Wisconsin families who are committed to ending prescription drug abuse by getting unused medications out of their homes and disposing of them on Drug Take Back Day or year round at one of more than 325 permanent disposal boxes throughout our state,” said Attorney General Schimel. “We could not over and over again be among the top three states in America for drug disposal without the coalition of private partners like Fuchs Trucking and Covanta Energy, and public partners like the hundreds of local law enforcement agencies and the DEA. These partners do the heavy lifting, literally, to ensure these drugs are disposed of in an environmentally safe way and that these potentially dangerous drugs don’t fall into the wrong hands.”
Police and sheriffs’ departments statewide hosted 150 Drug Take Back events on April 29, and have provided 328 permanent drug disposal drop boxes, giving citizens a convenient, environmentally-friendly, and anonymous way to dispose of unused medications all year long. Earlier this year, AG Schimel announced the installation of a permanent drug collection site in the lobby of the Risser Justice Center in downtown Madison. Proper drug disposal is essential to preventing prescription painkiller abuse. 70% of initial painkiller abuse starts when drugs are obtained improperly from family members or friends.
"The highly successful Wisconsin Drug Take Back Initiative is due to the hard work of the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the tremendous cooperation of law enforcement across the state,” said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in-Charge Robert Bell. “The large volume of pharmaceutical drugs collected is clear indication of the overabundance of these substances within our communities. Take-Back sensitizes the public to the hazards pharmaceutical drugs pose and helps make a healthier and safer Wisconsin."
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 National Guard, Wisconsin State Patrol, U.S. DEA, and the 267 law enforcement agencies, representing 69 Wisconsin counties, who participated in this April’s Drug Take Back Day.
The 66,039 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.
The weight of unused medications reported is preliminary. An official weight will be assigned by Covanta Energy prior to destruction.