MADISON, Wisconsin (WXOW) — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp praised Wisconsin residents for bringing in a record amount of expired or unused medications during the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28. The DEA reports that a record 37,642 pounds worth of prescription drugs were dropped off at collection sites throughout Wisconsin. Nationally, citizens turned in a record 552,161 pounds of unwanted or expired medications.
Saturday's statewide collection, which ranks 3rd in the nation, surpasses the previous Wisconsin record. Last fall in Wisconsin, 19,820 lbs of prescription drugs were turned over to Wisconsin law enforcement and the DEA for safe disposal.
"All of these medications could've ended up either in the wrong hands or in the environment," Attorney General Van Hollen said. "I'm very encouraged by the tremendous turnout across the state, and I'm thankful to the DEA for leading this important effort."
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp added, "People tell us every day they want to help keep our environment clean. This is one simple thing that they can do that will significantly help our waters, fish, wildlife and ultimately, the food chain."
The usual methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- pose potential safety and health hazards. If you still have expired or unused prescription drugs, check with your local law enforcement agency for proper disposal options, or visit the following link from the DNR, and search "household pharmaceuticals."
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