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Prescription drug take-back day aims to tackle opioid abuse problem

Drug Take-Back Day, coordinated by the state Department of Justice, will take place this year on Oct. 28

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Two days from now, police departments across the state are making an increased effort to combat Wisconsin’s opioid problem by participating in a prescription drug take-back program.

Drug Take-Back Day, coordinated by the state Department of Justice, will take place this year on Oct. 28. The semi-annual event aims to combat a major contributor to the Wisconsin opioid epidemic: prescription drugs falling into the wrong hands.

Organizers are urging community members to help by bringing leftover prescription drugs to a participating police department, where they’ll be disposed of responsibly. Those who plan to take advantage of Drug Take-Back Day should bring leftover prescriptions — controlled and non-controlled — and over the counter medications.

A common misconception is that flushing prescription medications down the toilet is a responsible way to dispose of drugs. However, completely removing pharmaceuticals from the water supply is very difficult, the DOJ release said. Trace amounts show up in rivers and lakes around the world, including ones used for drinking water and food.

Participants should not bring any illegal drugs to the drop-off locations. They also should not bring needles, aerosol cans or household wastes.

While more police departments than usual are participating in Drug Take-Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of responsibly any day of the year. MedDrop supports safe drug disposal every day of the year at participating police departments, including at the UW-Madison Police Department on Monroe Street.

The DOJ released guidelines to properly package drugs for Drug Take-Back Day, which can be viewed here. Students and community members can find their most convenient drop-off location here.

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