Wisconsin is Stepping up to Save Lives Through Safe Drug Disposal

Almost every home has one — that cabinet or drawer filled with prescriptions and other medications. And if yours is like most, it probably contains a few things you didn’t know you had, or no longer need. And that can have serious consequences.

More than 2.9 million opioid prescriptions are written every year in Wisconsin. That’s right, 2.9 million! And when unused and expired medications start to pile up, it’s easy for them to fall into the wrong hands. Far too often, medications that get overlooked cause unintended harm or become a gateway to misuse.

Luckily, Wisconsinites are known for taking care of each other. And that’s precisely what we’ve been doing. Wisconsin has continually been a leader in collecting unused and expired medications during national drug take back days. In the past, upwards of 100,000 pounds of medications have been collected in a single year. That’s the same weight as two full-sized snowplows you see clearing our Wisconsin roads every winter. But the most important part of the collection effort is a statistic impossible to measure — the lives potentially saved with every safe disposal. And make no mistake — safe disposal saves lives.

This year, we are calling on more Wisconsinites to do their part to help protect our families, friends, and great communities.

How do you get started?
Easy! Just open your medicine cabinet, gather what you no longer need, remove or cover up prescription or personal information, and put them in a zip-top bag.

What next?
Simply choose a safe disposal option that’s best for you. Drug Take Back Days are held twice a year in communities throughout Wisconsin; once in April and again in October. If you can’t make it, many permanent drug drop boxes are available year-round across the state in convenient locations like pharmacies and police stations.

If you’d like to learn more about safe medication disposal and all available options, visit doseofrealitywi.gov.