Disposing medications and saving lives on Saturday’s Drug Take Back Day
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Many people have unused or unwanted medications sitting around their home which can be potentially dangerous when it comes to substance abuse.
A “Drug Take Back Day” on Saturday, October 23, offers people the chance to safely dispose of expired or unwanted medication.
Wisconsin’s attorney general and Green Bay’s Chief of Police shared with a Bellin Psychiatric Center clinical substance abuse counselor and social worker during a virtual press conference how this year’s Drug Take Back Day will hopefully keep our community safe now and in the future.
“In the last Drug Take Back, we were number two in the country in total pounds of medications collected even though there are of course a lot of states that are bigger than Wisconsin,” Josh Kaul, Wisconsin’s attorney general, shared. “We want to remain a national leader in this program.”
Drug Take Back Day is typically held across the country twice a year. It was only one day last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 270 local law enforcement agencies will take part in this year’s initiative to collect prescription and over-the-counter medications from people who don’t want or need them anymore.
Items like ointments, patches, inhalers, and non-aerosol sprays can be brought for disposal. Plastic pill containers will not be collected but you can use them to bring your medication to a disposal site like the Green Bay Police Department.
“You don’t need to show your ID,” Chief of Green Bay Police, Chris Davis, highlighted. “There is no fee, and there are no questions asked. We do ask that you please don’t include anything sharp such as syringes or any illegal substances or anything else that might be hazardous to our staff who has to collect all these items and then take them to be properly disposed of.”
An epidemic that hits close to home.
“They start with your brother’s, your sister’s, your children’s, your children’s friends,” Mary Jo Vanden Wymelenberg, a clinical substance abuse counselor and social worker at Bellin Psychiatric Clinic, shared. “They’re just people you know that start experimenting with things they either find in their family’s cupboards or their friend’s family’s cupboard. It’s something we hear all the time. Well yeah, I started by swiping pills out of so-and-so’s cupboard “
Besides health risks, safely disposing of drugs will cut down on environmental risks. Trace amounts of pharmaceuticals have already appeared in our rivers and lakes.
You can find a drop-off site near you by CLICKING HERE.
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