On the first day of Spring, Take Back My Meds MKE, parents of young adults who have struggled with addiction, and environmental leaders urge residents to safely dispose of unused medicine they find during their Spring cleaning.
Residents of Milwaukee County can take back their unused medicine on any day of the year at one of 76 locations in the county. A map of all locations with either a drop box or drug disposal envelopes can be found at takebackmymeds.com. Unused medicine is contributing to the opioid crisis in Milwaukee County. Eighty percent of heroin users have used unused medicine for non-medical purposes.
Parents warn that unused medicine left in a home often starts or feeds a dangerous addiction. “My two sons found unused medicine to get high. Sometimes this happened at a neighbor’s house. Keeping unused medicine in your house is asking for trouble so please get rid of it in a safe and responsible way,” said Michelle Jaskulski of Franklin who is now outreach director of the Addiction Policy Forum.
Unsafe disposal of unused medicine also harms the environment. “When Milwaukee County residents flush unused medicine down the toilet it goes straight into Lake Michigan because MMSD is unable to treat it. Using a drop box or mail back envelope keeps unused medicine out of Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water in Milwaukee County,” said Amber Meyer Smith, Vice President of Programs and Government Relations for Clean Wisconsin.
“Safely disposing of unused medicine during Spring cleaning at a drop box like we have at several Hayat Pharmacy locations is something each of us can do to combat the opioid crisis and protect Lake Michigan,” said Hashim Zaibak, CEO of Hayat Pharmacy a founding member of the Take Back My Meds MKE coalition. “Hayat is proud to be making it easier for people to take back their unused medicine.
Take Back My Meds MKE is a coalition of 15 community organizations and businesses dedicated to making it easier for Milwaukee County residents to combat the opioid crisis by safely disposing of unused medicine. A full list of the coalition’s members can be found at takebackmymeds.com.