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What happens to the drugs that get taken from 'Drug Take Back' events?

Opioid addiction drugs severely underutilized, study finds
Posted at 5:14 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 18:51:37-04

We’ve all heard of the drug take back programs, but have you ever wondered what happens to the prescription drugs after you hand them over?

They go to a secure location to be processed and packaged for disposal.

After Drug Take Back Day, counties from all over the state dropped off their drugs at a secure location.

Attorney General Josh Kaul says it's a necessary phase in helping to curb opioid addictions.

“We’ve lost thousands of lives to the opioid epidemic and people want to do what they can to help out,” Kaul said.

From your medicine cabinet to police stations, now these unused pills can be destroyed.

“They’re not diverted and there’s nothing happening other than what’s supposed to, which is that they’re ultimately incinerated,” Kaul said.

But first, unmarked trucks drop off the drugs. Then police process, weigh and count every box.

It’s a secure process, to the point we couldn’t film the worker’s faces.

Patrick Esser is the deputy inspector in Waukesha County.

“It’s something we take very seriously," Esser said. "We want to make sure that after a collection of such a large quantity of medication they are properly protected.”

After each pallet is secure, it’s time to dispose of the drugs. The boxes are placed onto a semi-truck and sent away to be properly incinerated.

“We’ve lost thousands of lives to the opioid epidemic and people want to do what they can to help out.” — Attorney General Josh Kaul

It’s one way the community can come together to help fight the opioid crisis in the state.

“If anyone with unused medications to help us fight the opioid epidemic is by disposing of unused medications and the nearest drug disposal box,” Kaul said.

Many police departments are continuously accepting prescription drugs to help you dispose of them properly. Check with your local precinct for more information.