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HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital partners with Chippewa Falls Police Department for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, October 28

October 17, 2023 


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Hospital News

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. – Each year in Wisconsin more than 100,000 pounds of medication is collected at Drug Take Back Day events which are held in April and October, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). That’s the same weight as two full-sized snowplows. What can’t be measured, however is the number of lives potentially saved because of these events.

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is encouraging community members to help boost that number even more during the National Drug Take Back event on Saturday, October 28. 

The hospital is partnering with the Chippewa Falls Police Department to provide a safe, convenient and responsible disposal opportunity.

When: Saturday, October 28
             10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital main entrance (drive-thru drop off)
              2116 County Highway I, Chippewa Falls

Wisconsin DHS statistics from 2021, the last year data was published, show more than 1,400 deaths in the state attributed to opioids, which include some prescription medications. Nationally, the number is approximately 106,000 drug-involved overdose deaths.

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Community Outreach Specialist, Melissa Ives advises people not to hold onto unneeded and expired medications.

“This can create a number of potential public health hazards,” says Ives. “These items can be stolen, misused or ingested by children or pets resulting in accidental poisonings.”

Ives says do not dispose of medicines down the drain or toilet or throw them in the garbage. Over time trace amounts of medications can leach into the ground and contaminate rivers, lakes and wells. This negatively impacts fish and other aquatic species.

Community members are encouraged to bring unwanted or expired medications to the take back event. Ives says it’s best to place solid, non-liquid medication(s) in a sealed plastic bag rather than dropping off plastic pill containers with personal information on them. 

The following items will be accepted:
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Ointments
  • Patches
  • Inhalers
  • Creams, liquids and non-aerosol sprays in the original packaging
  • Vials
  • Pet medications
  • Vaping devices and cartridges – batteries will not be accepted
Do not bring:
  • Illegal drugs
  • Aerosol cans
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens, etc.)
  • Household hazardous items (paint, oil, pesticide)
  • Needles/sharps
  • Bio-hazard materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood)
Community members are asked to follow safety protocols during the drive-thru event:
  • Remain in your vehicle. A volunteer will come to collect your items.
  • Remove labels or black out identifying information on medication containers.
As a thank you to those who bring their medications to the drop off location on October 28, a limited number of gas gift cards and Deterra medication deactivation bags will be given out on a first come, first served basis. Community members do not need to be a patient of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital to participate in the event or receive a thank you item. 

Since Drug Take Back Day began in 2010, Wisconsin has collected more than 1.1 million pounds of unused or expired medication, which ranks third in the nation for most medications collected. For more information about Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, visit the Dose of Reality webpage. 

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About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital partners with Chippewa Falls Police Department for National Prescription
Media Contact

Angela Deja

Director of Communications and Public Relations