How to properly dispose of unwanted/unused/expired medication:
• Use drug disposal sites and events whenever possible. The Fond du Lac County 24/7 permanent, anonymous drug drop is located outside the Fond du Lac City Police Department, 126 N. Main St.
• Remove pills from the original container and place in a sealed zip-style bag. Liquid medications should remain in original bottles. The empty pill bottles may be disposed of in normal home recycling.
• Do not flush any medication down the toilet. This is no longer an acceptable way of disposal as these medications are harming the environment and water systems.
• Do not throw any medications in the garbage. Not only is this not safe for the environment, but it also leaves dangerous medications accessible to children and others.
For more information about the Prescription for a Safe Community Campaign, contact Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County at 906-6700 ext. 4704 or visit www.drugfreefdl.com.
Source: Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac.
More than 1,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected in Fond du Lac County last month on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
April 27 marked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) sixth take-back day since it began in 2010. The event collected about 50 percent more pills than the previous one, according to a news release from the DEA.
Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County partnered with the DEA to set up locations in Fond du Lac, North Fond du Lac, Ripon, Waupun and Campbellsport. The public was able to drop off unused or expired medications.
Medications collected were turned over to DEA authorities for destruction.
Waupun Police Department Detective Brian O’Donovan said Waupun collected 130 pounds of prescription drugs at Agnesian Pharmacy.
The drug drop is part of a community campaign, Prescription for a Safe Community, aimed at reducing medication misuse by youth and adults through education and awareness by securing medication and disposing of it properly, according to a news release sent by the Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County.
“Thank you to the citizens of Fond du Lac County for participating and making the event a great success,” Karen Rucks, Lutheran Social Services and a Drug Free Communities chairperson, said in a news release. “We need to continue to reduce the availability of prescription medication that can be misused by youth and adults.”
Fond du Lac has a 24/7 drug-drop box at the Fond du Lac Police Department, 126 N. Main St.
Across the state, 45,581 pounds of unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs were collected at nearly 180 sites on April 27, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
Last year, the DEA reported 60,205 pounds of prescription drugs were dropped off at collection sites in Wisconsin during the two take-back days in April and October, making the dairy state one of the largest contributors of unwanted medications in the country, according to the release from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
Nationally, 742,497 pounds of prescription medications were collected. When added to the collections from the five previous events, more than 2.8 million pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation. This reduces the amount of medications available for misuse and keeps them out of the hands of youth, according to a release from the DEA.
According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and inhalants combined. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.
“Every year (participation) kind of varies,” said Amy Johannes, clinical supervisor of addiction services at Agnesian HealthCare. Johannes is also involved in the coordination of drug drops for Fond du Lac County. “I’m still amazed that we started this just to decrease availability (of prescription medications) and it’s grown so much.”
Johannes said there is great potential of establishing permanent drug drop boxes in other cities.
“We’re hoping to continue the program and even get permanent sites (like the one in Fond du Lac) in Ripon and Waupun,” Johannes said. “We will continue with the one-day events until they become more widely known, but I’d say within the next three or so years we will have those spots in other cities.”
Samantha Strong can be reached at (920) 907-7910 or by email at email@example.com.