On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Richland Center Police Department, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be hosting a Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative.
This will be the eleventh time in six years that the Richland Center Police Department has hosted this statewide event for our community. Locally, over the past five years, we have collected approximately 400 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs from our community for safe disposal.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. The focus of the event is on removing potentially dangerous pharmaceutical substances from our community’s medicine cabinets and preventing them from going into our water supply, as well as to help provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal.
The Take Back Initiative is a great educational tool that brings awareness to the general public of the potential for abuse of unused or expired medication that is not disposed of. Medicines that languish in the home are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these prescription drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Usual methods for disposing of unused or expired medicines – flushing them down the toilet, pouring them down the drain, or throwing them in the trash – all pose potential safety and health hazards. Unused or expired medicine should never be flushed, poured down the drain, or thrown in the trash.
I would encourage our community to keep taking advantage of this free service. Please mark April 30 on your calendars to drop off your unused or expired prescription drugs for disposal at the Richland Center Police Department, located at 470 S. Main St., Richland Center. (Liquids, needles and sharps cannot be accepted; only pills and patches.) This service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.