Local law enforcement collects hundreds of pounds of prescription drugs
MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -
Prescription drug abuse is a problem police see across Marathon County. One of their latest tactics to put a stop to it -- collecting items that clutter up your medicine cabinet and getting rid of them.
"We encourage people to bring in any unused, expired or medications they're no longer using, particularly the prescription drugs," said Wausau police department detective Nathan Cihlar.
Twice a year, the Drug Enforcement Administration puts on a "drug take-back" program. Five police departments in Marathon County take part.
"It's really amazing and we figure we're one department out of five in this county that accepts these and we had 145 pounds since our last drop," said Kronenwetter police chief Dan Joling.
In Kronenwetter, a 24-hour drop box gives people in the area the opportunity to safely throw away drugs. Authorities said it's a better alternative than trying to trash them yourself.
"As these that people dispose of, let's say through their septic system or just dropping them in any kind of disposal, storm sewer, that all permeates all those drugs and they don't necessarily go away," said Joling.
Police said the drop boxes could also cut back on crime.
"Someone outside the family, that's a target for home break in and burglaries if people know that there's prescription drugs in the house," said Cihlar.
Wausau police said they've seen their piles of prescriptions growing during the past two years since they started as word gets out about the program -- and people in the community get involved.
"It's a lot considering what we got the first six months that we were here, we maybe got 100 pounds," said Cihlar. "It's definitely gone up from 100 to almost 400 pounds over a six month time span."
Authorities said if you plan to drop off old prescriptions, you can take your name off the labels. But they ask that you keep the rest of the label on -- to make it easier to sort them.