Those old, unwanted drugs in your medicine cabinet aren’t just taking up space. They could become a health hazard if they fall into the wrong hands and are used improperly.
With that concern in mind, the U.S. Department of Justice is holding its 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, Oct. 28.
While the national event is a good reminder for Kenosha County residents to remove unwanted, unused medications from their homes, local sites are available 365 days a year to safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, local officials remind residents.
“We encourage people to take advantage of this resource on Saturday, or any time it’s convenient for them to do so,” said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. “Any day is a good day to make your home safer by responsibly removing medications that you no longer need.”
The county’s Medication Disposal Program aims to prevent poisonings and overdoses, to help protect local waterways from pollution, and to reduce the risk of illegal use of prescription drugs.
“Of the 39 confirmed overdose deaths that have occurred to date in Kenosha County in 2017, 27 of those deaths involved a prescription medication,” said Kenosha County Medical Examiner Patrice Hall. “The drug takeback program underscores the need to remove unwanted and unused prescription medications from your home and properly dispose of them.”
Since April 2012, Kenosha County has collected 16,703 pounds, or more than 8.3 tons, of medication at its drop box sites.
The current drop-off locations and hours are:
Kenosha County Public Safety Building, 1000 55th St., 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays (drop-off site users will be buzzed in after hours).
Pleasant Prairie Police Department, 8600 Green Bay Road, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Salem Lakes Village Hall, 9814 Antioch Road (Highway 83), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.
Twin Lakes Police Department, 920 Lance Drive, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
University of Wisconsin-Parkside Police Department, 900 Wood Road (Tallent Hall, east side of building), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Items acceptable for deposit in the drop boxes include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, ointments and creams, pet medications, sprays and liquids. If keeping medication in its original package, please cross out personal information or peel off the label. All medication should be enclosed in a sealed bag before it is placed in the drop box.
Unacceptable items include biohazardous materials, needles/sharps/syringes, illegal drugs and inhalers.
Another option – the Wisconsin Drug Repository – is available for those seeking to dispose of unopened, unexpired medications. These drugs are then donated to people with cancer or chronic disease who do not have insurance or are underinsured.
More information about the program and medications eligible for donation is at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/guide/cancer-drugrepo.htm. At present, the only Kenosha County drop-off sites associated with the program are Good Value Pharmacy’s Festival Foods location, 3207 80th St., and Larsen-Mayer location, 3825 39th Ave.
Those with questions about the county’s Medication Disposal Program may contact the Division of Health at 262-605-6700.