Wisconsin News

Prescription drug drop-off boxes off to a good start

Seven law enforcement agencies now collect unwanted medication

LA CROSSE COUNTY, Wis. (WKBT) - The permanent prescription drug drop-off boxes have been in use for about three weeks now and local police departments say they are already collecting large amounts of medication.

Since day one, the permanent prescription drug drop-off box in Bangor has been a big hit.

"The response from the public right now is very positive, very happy and it's working out well for us at this point," said Police Chief Scott Alo with the Bangor Police Department.

In West Salem, the police department is seeing a similar story.

"Right from day one actually, we had a person stop down and dump a large amount of pills in there from a family member that had died," said Police Chief Charles Ashbeck with the West Salem Police Department.

In just about three weeks, both villages, each totaling about 1,500 people, have individually collected between three and four pounds of prescription medication.

"Which doesn't sound like a lot but when you start looking at how light individual pills are that actually is a good amount of medications already that have come in," said Ashbeck.

It doesn't seem like a lot when you compare it to the La Crosse Police Department, which has collected 26 pounds, but people can use the drop-off box during normal business hours, five days a week. In smaller villages, the hours of operation may vary.

"Being a small agency, I am here alone at times, so when we get a call or something goes on out there, I have to lock up and it becomes unavailable at that time," said Alo.

However, all agencies are determined to make it as easy as possible for community members to access the drop-off boxes at their convenience.

"Definitely we are willing to work with them. Even in the night time, if the sergeant happens to be working, call the dispatch center and ask to speak to a Bangor police officer and he can come in and unlock the building and let them drop it off," said Alo.

Alo and Ashbck said they are happy with any amount of medication they can pull in off the streets because anything is better than what they were doing before.

Here's is a list of where the permanent drug drop-off sites are located, but you will not find out right now at the La Crosse Police Department because they are in the process of remodeling.

Bangor Police Dept.

Town of Campbell Police Dept.

Holmen Police Dept.

La Crosse Co, Sheriff's Dept.

La Crosse Police Dept. (out of service)

Onalaska Police Dept.

West Salem Police Dept.

Although there are several permanent drop-off sites in La Crosse County, the Household Hazardous Materials Program will still be hosting a one-day medication drop off event on Aug. 16 at the hazardous materials facility at 6502 State Road 16. The drop off starts at 9 a.m. and lasts until noon.

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