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April 17, 2012

"Take Back Initiative" scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2012

MADISON -- Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp urge Wisconsin residents with expired or unused medications to safely dispose of them this Saturday, April 28, 2012, during the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Special agents from the DOJ will be on-hand Saturday at some of the more than 100 law enforcement sites throughout the state to assist the DEA with collection efforts. Last fall in Wisconsin, 9.91 tons, or 19,820 lbs, of prescription drugs were turned over to Wisconsin law enforcement and the DEA for safe disposal.

The service is free and anonymous, and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, 2012. To find a drop-off location near you, visit

"Prescription drugs, when abused, can be as harmful as street drugs. Keeping them on hand long after they're needed can lead to theft and in some cases, overdose and death," Attorney General Van Hollen said. "I'm thankful for the continued partnership of the DEA on this issue and urge people to take a few minutes and work with us to dispose of these drugs properly."

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp added, "Everyone who uses medications can help keep Wisconsin's environment healthy. Taking unused medications to a collection program ensures that pharmaceutical waste is managed properly through approved disposal methods instead of ending up in our waterways and harming our natural resources."

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information on how to reduce the impact of unused medications on the environment, visit the DNR website () and keyword search "healthcare waste."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dana Brueck, DOJ - 608-266-1221 or Bill Cosh, DNR - 608-267-2773

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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