It’s not shocking anymore to hear about prescription painkillers and heroin abuse in Wisconsin communities. Everyone – law enforcement, elected officials, school officials, and the media – is talking about the epidemic that is stealing futures and lives.
On April 28, you can do something to help prevent this epidemic from spreading further. The Richland Center Police Department, in conjunction with Richland County Children and Family Advocacy Council, will be hosting a Drug Take Back Day – a national initiative to get all those unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of your medicine cabinet and safely destroyed.
Richland Center Police Chief Lucas Clements states that this effort will continue to bring an increased focus on the issue of prescription opiate abuse. The goal of the Take-Back Day is to provide a free, safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the community about the potential for abuse and consequences of improper storage and disposal of these medications. According to Chief Clements, local take back efforts from October 2017 collected and disposed of 190 pounds of unused prescription medication.
Proper drug disposal is one way to substantially reduce the abuse of prescription narcotic painkillers. Chief Clements states, “Storing potentially dangerous drugs in a secure location and disposing of them promptly after use will reduce the availability to people improperly using these substances.”
Drug overdoses kill more people than car accidents in Wisconsin, and the largest numbers of those deaths aren’t caused by “hard street drugs.” Chief Clements reports that the Police Department has investigated six overdose deaths within the City of Richland Center in the last two years, with victims’ ages ranging from 26 to 55 years old. With more than 163,000 Wisconsinites addicted to prescription opioids, we all have a role in preventing that number from increasing.
On Saturday, April 28, go to the Richland Center Police Department between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to stop this epidemic from taking an even bigger hold on our community.
Do Bring: Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, inhalers, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications.
Do Not Bring: Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, acids, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, and sunscreens), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, and gas), and mercury thermometers.
Participants may dispose of solid, non-liquid medication(s) by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into a disposal box or into a clear sealable plastic bag. Plastic pill containers should not be collected. Blister packages without the medications being removed are acceptable.
Liquids will be accepted during this initiative. However, the liquids, creams and sprays must be in their original packaging. Liquids without the original packaging will not be accepted.
Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.
Chief Clements added that, over the past eight years, local efforts with this free service have generated approximately 800 pounds of prescription drugs collected for disposal from our community and he encourages citizens to keep taking advantage of the service.
Every citizen in this state can play a role in solving this epidemic: use prescriptions only as prescribed to you; store prescriptions securely; properly dispose of unused prescriptions; and help spread the important message about safe prescription use. Go to www.DoseOfRealityWI.gov to learn more about how we can make our community safer and healthier.