Plover PD Records Specialist Jennifer Stormoen and Deputy Craig Loiselle stand before about 1,300 pounds of old prescription and OTC medications on April 29. Ofc. Mike Shultz from SPPD declined to pose for the customary photo, saying, "I'm not here to sell newspapers." (Metro Wire photo)

County takes in nearly 1,300 pounds of old medicine

By Brandi Makuski

Local drug take-back events in April were on the uptick compared with last year’s, as local law enforcement collected about 1,300 pounds of leftover and expired over-the-counter and prescription medications.

It’s the 23rd year of the National Drug Take-Back program. The Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office held several collection events in rural areas in April, partnered with a special collection day hosted by the Stevens Point and Plover Police Departments.

According to Deputy Craig Loiselle, the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office collectd 19 boxes. Eight boxes came from the PPD, and SPPD surrendered 15 boxes.

Jennifer Stormoen, a records specialist from the PPD, Loiselle, and Ofc. Mike Shultz from SPPD gathered on Monday morning to load the boxes into a transport vehicle in the PSO sallyport. From there, the medicine was taken to be incinerated at an out-of-state facility.

Old prescription and over-the-counter drugs are accepted via special drop boxes year-round at all local law enforcement agencies, but special take-back events are held each April and October.

Sheriff Mike Lukas said the three departments collected 975 pounds last October. That’s up from 918 pounds collected in April 2022.

The annual take-back events are sponsored by the Department of Justice. It’s an effort to prevent abuse of old prescription and over-the-counter medicines, or their improper disposal in the public water supply.