Schimel on Drug Take Back
Saturday was Drug Take Back Day across Wisconsin. Attorney General Brad Schimel tell us turning over unused or unwanted prescription medications is a step towards prevention in the battle against opioid addiction.
He says “as law enforcement, we are asking Wisconsin citizens to collect up those medications that are in your medicine cabinet or that drawer that you’re not using – collect them up and get them out of your home. Why is it so important? Because we know there’s a direct path between prescription painkillers that are in our homes and the people that are dying from drug overdoses. We know that 80-percent of the people who use heroin first got addicted to prescription painkillers.”
Schimel adds that “as much as treatment providers are working to try to bail water out of
the boat and law enforcement is working to arrest drug traffickers to bail
water out of the boat, there’s a big hole in the bottom of the boat. And if we
don’t fix that hole with prevention, we’re never going to get ahead.”
He also points out that Wisconsin is a national leader when it comes to turning over those drugs. Schimel says “we have – on a per capita basis – the best drug take back program in America. Only two states have ever collected more than us, that’s California and Texas. They have far larger populations, and on a per capita basis, we’re blowing them out of the water.”
Wisconsin citizens have dropped off over 400,000 pounds of unused medications that have been safely destroyed over the past three years. Fond du Lac became the first community in the state to have a permanent drug drop box back in 2008.