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Nearly a ton of prescription drugs taken out of state

By Brandi Makuski

A little over 1,500 pounds of old prescription and over-the-counter medication was sent out of Wisconsin on Monday for destruction.

Sheriff Mike Lukas said that’s about the same amount collected last October. Last April, about 800 pounds was collected.

The trip always follows a series of twice-yearly drug take-back events across Portage Co. On April 29, Lukas and Stevens Point Police Office Pat Stanislawski teamed up to drive 45 boxes of meds to an out-of-state incineration facility.

Stanislawski manned the drug-take back event held Saturday at the Lincoln Center, collecting nine full boxes of pills, creams, ointments, and other medicines from residents in a span of about four hours.

“That’s a lot of drugs,” Lukas remarked, adding the take-back events, held in the city, Plover, Amherst, Rosholt, Almond, and Junction City often yields about 50 boxes, weighing between 25 and 40 pounds each.

Unwanted and leftover prescription and OTC drugs can be dropped off anytime at collection boxes located inside the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office, and Stevens Point and Plover police departments, but it’s the special Drug Take-Back Day, held each spring and fall, that local law enforcement say is always their real windfall.

Stevens Point police offloaded 24 boxes of meds this week, followed by the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office with 13 boxes. Plover submitted eight boxes of medicine for disposal.

Lukas said the drugs are incinerated in a federally-approved facility at an undisclosed location outside the state, and the disposal ensures medicine doesn’t end up in the wrong hands or being dissolved in Central Wisconsin groundwater.

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