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Drug drop boxes to be installed in Janesville and Beloit

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Catherine W. Idzerda
April 28, 2011
— Pills can kill.

It’s an old slogan, but in the age of high-powered prescription drugs, it’s truer than ever.


With the help of a $1,000 grant from Alliant Energy Foundation, Partners In Prevention-Rock County plans to combat that trend, according to a news release from the organization.


The grant will pay for two permanent prescription drug drop boxes, one in Janesville and the other in Beloit.


“Young people are using prescription drugs improperly at the same rate they’re using marijuana,” said Kate Baldwin, executive director of Partners in Prevention.


In the past 30 days, approximately 22 percent of Rock County youth reported using prescription drugs for recreational purposes, she said.


Easy access is one of the main reasons for their popularity, Baldwin said.


“Prescription drugs are often free,” Baldwin said. “Kids are taking them from their parents.”


Two or three times a year, the Rock County Health Department sponsors prescription drug drop-offs. Residents come in with everything from a single prescription bottle to bags to drugs, some of them more than a decade old.


Last year, Milton’s police department became the first in the county to establish a permanent drug drop off location.


That move came just a few months after a 13-year-old Edgerton Middle School student from Milton Township was found dead after he and a friend overdosed on the prescription drug oxycodone. The boy got the drugs from a friend, who took them from a family member.


Milton’s drop box has been in operation for about 10 months, and has already collected more than 70 pounds of drugs.


The city of Evansville recently installed a 24-hour prescription drop box.


The secure metal boxes will make it easier for people to dispose of drugs safely, and helps keep them out of the water supply and landfill.


More importantly, Baldwin and Partners in Prevention hope the drop boxes will keep the drugs out of the hands of kids.



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