Dispose of unused medications at Superior event

Oct. 24—SUPERIOR — The Douglas County Drug Prevention Coalition will hold a drug take-back event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 28 at Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Ave. Anyone can drop off unwanted, unused or expired medications for safe disposal.

The goal of these take-back events is to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal of prescription medications while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Unused prescription medications in homes create a public health and safety concern because they can be accidentally ingested, stolen, misused and abused.

Both prescription and over-the-counter medication may be disposed of at the event, including capsules, creams, inhalers, non-aerosol sprays, ointments, pills, patches and vials.

Liquids must be in their original container.

Pet medications are accepted.

Vape pens and other e-cigarette devices are accepted with the batteries removed.

Visitors can also pick up free items such as Deterra disposal bags and lock boxes. The charcoal-based bags can be used to deactivate prescription drugs, pills, patches, liquids, creams and films, rendering them inert. Just put the drugs in a Deterra pouch, add water, seal, shake and throw away. The lock boxes can be used to safely store drugs at home.

Those unable to attend can still dispose of medications safely through

permanent drop-off locations

in the community. People should collect unused and expired medications, remove prescription labeling and place them in a zip-top plastic bag before dropping them off.

Drop sites in Douglas County include the Superior Police Department in the Government Center, 1316 N. 14th St., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Walgreens in Superior, 2015 Tower Ave., from 6 a.m. to noon daily.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Oct. 13 that 120,600 fentanyl test strips have been distributed to organizations across the state to help prevent drug overdose deaths. The participating organizations are handing out the packages at no cost. A map of pick-up locations is available on the state health services website at


. In Douglas County, fentanyl test strips are available at Vivent Health in Superior, 1507 Tower Ave., Suite 230.

Drugs mixed with


, an opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin, are the leading cause of overdose deaths in Wisconsin, according to the health department.

"Wisconsinites who use drugs are more likely to encounter fentanyl than ever before," said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake in the news release. "Tragically, many people who use drugs have no idea they are ingesting fentanyl until it's too late."

Fentanyl test strips are dipped into drug residue dissolved in water. Within minutes, a person can know whether the drug contains fentanyl. A tiny amount — as little as two grains of salt — is enough to kill someone.

In Wisconsin, fentanyl is present in many drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, as well as pills made to resemble prescription medications.

Because fentanyl is unable to be detected by sight, taste, smell or touch, people taking drugs not purchased from a licensed pharmacy should always use fentanyl test strips. The test strips do not provide information about the amount or strength of fentanyl in a drug supply.

Another tool available to the public to help prevent opioid deaths in naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan, an opiod reversal drug. The state health department distributes Narcan at no cost through community agencies to people who use opioids or drugs that could be mixed with opioids, their families and friends.

Narcan can also can be purchased at more than 500 pharmacies without a prescription under a standing order. Locations where Narcan is available can be found on the health department website at


. In Douglas County, it is available at Vivent Health, and both the Superior Walmart and Walgreens stores.