GREEN BAY, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel joined CVS Health today to announce the company’s first in-store permanent drug disposal collection box in Wisconsin. This announcement from CVS Health joins Attorney General Schimel’s ongoing work to prevent prescription opioid abuse in Wisconsin through enforcement, prevention, and treatment.
“Wisconsin has been a national leader on prescription drug disposal and I’m excited to see CVS Health expand their investment in Wisconsin’s efforts to cut down on the number of prescription drugs and medications falling into the wrong hands,” said Attorney General Schimel. “If more and more people continue to get hooked on these dangerous drugs, no amount of enforcement or treatment will put a stop to this public health crisis. But the success of drug disposal is proof positive that more people in Wisconsin are understanding their role in preventing the opioid epidemic from getting worse.”
In addition to CVS Pharmacy’s Green Bay location, located at 1561 W. Mason St., drug disposal boxes have been installed at CVS Pharmacy stores in Appleton, Barron, Eau Claire, and Milwaukee.
“CVS Health is dedicated to addressing and preventing opioid abuse in the communities we serve in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Thomas Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, CVS Health. “Expanding our safe medication disposal program is one of the many initiatives we support to fulfill that commitment and to deliver on our company’s purpose – helping people on their path to better health.”
CVS Health also offers a grant program whereby law enforcement agencies can receive a free drug disposal box. To date, CVS Health has donated 41 drug drop boxes to law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin. For more information, please visit the CVS Pharmacy website.
Proper drug disposal is essential to prevent prescription painkiller abuse. Research has shown that 70% of initial painkiller abuse starts when drugs are obtained improperly from family members or friends.
Across Wisconsin, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, and hospitals have provided nearly 400 permanent drug disposal drop boxes, giving citizens a convenient, environmentally-friendly, and anonymous way to dispose of unused medications all year long. Wisconsinites can find an interactive map and searchable database of these drug disposal locations on the Dose of Reality website.
After the last statewide Drug Take Back Day, 63,541 lbs. of unused medications were collected throughout Wisconsin; more unused medications than Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa combined. Since 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Justice has collected and disposed of 401,769 lbs. of unused and unwanted medications. Wisconsin had more law enforcement agencies participate in the biannual event than any other state in the country, and Wisconsin consistently has one of the largest collections of any state in the country.