MADISON (WKOW) — A Madison Police Department medication drop box has been overflowing with unused medication and that’s just what they like to see.
“The last posted picture was 125 pounds and that was exactly two and a half weeks,” Officer Howard Payne, who is partially responsible for the drop box, said.
It’s an almost monthly sight at the Madison East District Police Station.
Since 2010, the department has been collecting unfinished medication to dispose of properly.
“Over the years, we’ve collected thousands of pounds of unwanted or unneeded drugs from people’s residences,” Payne said.
Payne says they stopped counting after 10,000 pounds at the East District alone.
A large portion has been prescription pain medications, like opioid derivatives.
“Any type of morphine, fentanyl, we see quite high concentrations of that come into this box,” Officer Payne said.
One of the goals of the drop box has been to fight against opioid addiction and so far officer Payne says it has been helping.
“I think it has made an impact all around, in terms of getting those items out of people’s homes off of people’s areas around in their residences,” Officer Payne said. “That’s what we want to continue to do.”
The important thing to remember is to not throw the pill bottles directly into the bin, but actually empty them into provided bags.
Officer Payne says the bin will be full again in about two and a half weeks.
After the bin gets full, officers take everything to an incinerator to prevent the drugs from getting into the city water supply.
While the bin is constantly overflowing now, Officer Payne hopes he has to empty it even more often.
“I think the more people understand that this service exists, the more people will come in and be a part of the program,” he said.
If you need to get rid of your medication but don’t live near the East District Station you can find your closest station here.