At a recent meeting, Neshkoro Village Board members and Chief Randy Reilly celebrated the installation of the new Neshkoro medication disposal drop box with Sue Allen, UW-Extension educator and chair of Marquette County Healthy Communities Healthy Youth coalition. Pictured are: Sue Allen, Linda Gohlke, Chief Randy Reilly, Carey Koats, President Shawn Reetz, Tom Krueger, and Peter Braatz.

Dispose of unused medications in Neshkoro

You can now properly dispose of prescription and store-bought medications in Neshkoro. A new medication drug drop box was recently installed at the Neshkoro Village Hall, 322 S. Main Street. This is the fourth drug drop box in Marquette County –the other three locations are Endeavor Village Hall, Montello City Hall, and Westfield Village Hall.

Medications can be placed in the boxes during normal business hours. They are under 24-hour indoor/outdoor camera surveillance for everyone’s safety. The box accepts prescription and store-bought medication in either their original packaging (with your name removed or blacked out) or in plastic baggies. Needles, syringes, and lancets are not accepted.

The use of prescription and store-bought drugs for non-medical reasons is a serious problem in Marquette County and throughout the United States. Teens and pre-teens may take medications out of the family home to use in skittles parties, to use without guidance from a doctor, or to sell for profit. Adults who have become addicted to prescription pain killers may try to steal opioid medications from friends, family, or neighbors. These are dangerous and often illegal activities that can be curtailed by removing unused medications from your home.

Another good practice for people whose doctors’ prescribe pain medicine is to ask your doctors for a smaller number of pills. Many doctors are still over-prescribing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “taking opioids at too high a dose, or for too long a period of time, increases the risk of addiction, overdose, and death. The likelihood of using opioid painkillers long-term spikes after just five days.”

Neshkoro Chief of Police Randy Reilly led the effort to order and install the new medication drug drop box. Neshkoro Public Works Director Bob Vander Grinten installed the box at the village hall, and Berlin Police Department’s Captain Kevin Bloch advised the purchase and installed the camera surveillance system. Chief Reilly, Village Board members, and Village Clerk Lynn Gohlke encourage people to use this box to make Neshkoro a safer, healthier place to live.

Marquette County Healthy Communities Healthy Youth coalition (HCHY) secured a $700 grant from the state of Wisconsin’s Alliance for Wisconsin Youth, which covered all expenses related to this new drop box. The Alliance for Wisconsin Youth supports local substance abuse prevention coalitions through training, technical assistance and funding. It is part of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Care and Treatment Services, in the Bureau of Prevention Treatment and Recovery.

Over the past year or so, HCHY has attracted over $15,000 to Marquette County to purchase this drop box, as well as hundreds of medication home lock boxes distributed by the Marquette County Health Department (call 608-297-3135 if you need one), opioid abuse prevention billboards, magnets and handouts, and community dinner discussions for education and action.

If you have questions about substance abuse prevention or would like to help with local efforts, please contact Sue Allen, UW-Extension Family Living Educator, and chair of Marquette County Healthy Communities Healthy Youth coalition (HCHY), at susan.allen@ces.uwex.edu or 608-297-3139. You might also visit the HCHY website at www.marquettehchy.org