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Residents asked to turn in unused prescription drugs

April 22, 2014

As part of an effort to prevent drug addiction, Brookfield and Elm Grove will each have a drop-off point for unused prescription drugs Saturday, April 26. Residents can drop off their drugs anonymously, at no cost.

Brookfield's collection is run by the Waukesha County Drug Free Communities Coalition. It will be its sixth collection, which Capt. Frank McElderry, commander of the county's Metro Drug Unit, said is especially important recently because of an increasing number of teenagers his unit sees abusing prescription medication and then switching to heroin.

"The high that individuals get from the prescription drugs are similar to that of heroin, making it a direct gateway to that drug," McElderry said in a news release. "Many people don't understand the dangers of using the prescription drugs recreationally, believing that the drugs are safe and not addictive because they are prescribed by a doctor."

The county's collection, taking place at six locations, has brought in more than 5,000 pounds of medication in the past.

The Elm Grove Police Department also is coordinating a drug take-back April 26. Prescription drugs and heroin have been elevated as points of discussion recently, since the death of resident Luke Pulsifer last year. Two other Elm Grove residents were arrested for possession of heroin in the same year. In previous years, arrests for heroin possession were more of a rarity in the village, with one arrest each in 2012, 2010 and 2007, Elm Grove Police Assistant Chief Jason Hennen said.

McElderry said getting rid of prescription medications is an important step in preventing family members and friends from developing addictions.

Organizers ask that residents bring their medications in their original containers. Prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, ointments, sprays, inhalers, creams, vials, herbals and pet medications will all be accepted.

Both take-backs are run in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

If you go

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26

BROOKFIELD: Brookfield Recycling Center, 19700 Riverview Drive

ELM GROVE: Walgreen's, 15350 W. Bluemound Road

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