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The Village of Mount Pleasant Police Department will be holding a prescription drug take-back event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 28 at the police department, 8811 Campus Drive.

The initiative is being spearheaded in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice so that residents can dispose of unused or expired prescription medication. While this initiative is for one day, the department plans to have a permanent drop off receptacle in their lobby from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round.

“Help keep our Village safe from the misuse of unused/used prescription medication,” according to a press release by the Mount Pleasant Police Department. “The focus is on removing potentially dangerous pharmaceutical substances from our state’s medicine cabinets and preventing them from going into our water supply.”

According to the Department of Health Services, the rate of opioid prescription deaths in Racine County has increased to 15.3 per 1,000 residents in 2015 from 7.2, a 113 percent increase compared to the number in 2006. Hospital stays for patients encountering opioid issues in Racine County have also increased to 50.7 per 1,000 residents from 29.7, a 71 percent increase.

“Opioid overdoses and the misuses of opioids, either heroin or prescription pain medications, affects every corner of the state and is destroying families,” said DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer. “We must do whatever we can to end the heartbreak affecting so many. Paul’s experience and skills support our efforts to make sure that our response to this crisis is as aggressive and effective as possible.”

Do’s and don’ts of the drug take-back event

No businesses allowed. All waste pharmaceuticals must be generated by a household.

Bring:

Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, inhalers, patches, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications.

Do Not Bring:

Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, mercury thermometers, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), flares, personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens, etc…), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, chemicals, oil, or gas) or acids.

Why do it?

According to the Mount Pleasant Police Department:

“The Prescription Drug Take-Back Day goal is to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of these medications. Unused or expired medicine should never be flushed or poured down the drain. Water reclamation facilities are not designed to remove all of them and trace amounts of pharmaceuticals are showing up in rivers and lakes around the world.”

Editor’s note: If you or someone you care about has an addiction issue, here’s a list of resources in Racine County: resourcebrochure2016.doc.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.