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Pilot Project Provides Safe Place To Discard Unwanted Drugs

Chief Noble Wray joined Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and others Thursday morning to unveil Madison's first MedDrop box, located inside the Madison Police Department's (MPD) East District Station, 809 E. Thompson Drive. The box will available to anyone looking to safely discard unwanted prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter medicines. Citizens will place pills and other drugs into plastic bags provided at the site, and then deposit them into the box. Empty packages or bottles should be taken back home for recycling. The service will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Drugs left at the site will disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

The MedDrop box is aimed at reducing public safety and public health problems presented by keeping unwanted drugs in family medicine boxes. Environmental problems, particularly lake pollution, caused by flushing drugs down toilets should also be alleviated.

Chief Wray and Mayor Cieslewicz have been working on proactive ways to address the large number of overdoses, and overdose deaths, resulting from opiates like heroin. Some opiates can be found in medicine boxes. Drugs like Oxycontin or Oxycodone are directly to blame for some overdoses. They can also be gateway drugs to heroin. So far, in Dane County this year, law enforcement is aware of 105 opiate overdoses with 21 resulting in deaths.

Chief Noble Wray called the pilot MedDrop box program, "community policing at its' best," saying this is a good example of looking for "different ways to address a public safety issue." He applauds Mayor Cieslewicz's leadership on the issue. If the pilot proves successful, the city will look to place more MedDrop boxes in other locations.

There is also a MedDrop Box inside the Middleton Police Department.


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897