Attorney General Brad Schimel announced 63,541 pounds of unused medications were collected at Drug Take Back events on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at nearly 390 permanent drug collection receptacles located throughout the state. Wisconsin collected more unused medications than Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa combined. Since 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Justice has collected and disposed of 401,769 pounds of unused and unwanted medications. To see what it takes to process more than 60,000 pounds of unused medications, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) shared this time lapse of the drugs’ processing: https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinAttorneyGeneral/videos/301154933646892/.
“Since my first day as attorney general, I have prioritized prevention because I know it is the key to stopping the opioid epidemic,” said Schimel. “If more and more people continue to get hooked on these dangerous drugs, no amount of enforcement or treatment will put a stop to this public health crisis. But the success of Drug Take Back Day is proof positive that more people in Wisconsin are understanding their role in preventing the opioid epidemic from getting worse, and Wisconsin is on the right track.”
Fuchs Trucking has been a tremendously helpful partner in Wisconsin’s drug disposal effort. Fuchs Trucking provides the semi-trailers used to transport the unwanted and unused medications to Covanta Energy Corporation in Indianapolis where the drugs are incinerated. Fuchs Trucking provides this service at cost and does not profit from the Drug Take Back Program.
Statewide, 312 police and sheriffs’ departments hosted 163 Drug Take Back events on April 28. Across the state, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, and hospitals have provided 390 permanent drug disposal drop boxes, giving citizens a convenient, environmentally-friendly, and anonymous way to dispose of unused medications all year long. Proper drug disposal is essential to preventing prescription painkiller abuse. Research has shown that 70 percent of initial painkiller abuse starts when drugs are obtained improperly from family members or friends.
Once again, Wisconsin was a national leader on Drug Take Back Day this April. Wisconsin had more law enforcement agencies participate in the biannual event than any other state in the country, and Wisconsin had the third largest collection in the nation. Only Texas and California collected more unused drugs and medications.
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 Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin State Patrol, U.S. DEA, and the 312 law enforcement agencies who participated in this April’s Drug Take Back Day.
The 63,541 pounds of prescription drugs were boxed, palletized, shrink wrapped, and secured in three Fuchs Trucking semi-trailers for transportation to Covanta Energy Corporation in Indianapolis, where the drugs were incinerated on May 9.