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Rx for Action

A blog devoted to helping people find local medicine take-back programs and highlighting current research findings and pending legislation.

Community Spotlight Shines a Light on Sauk Prairie Police Department

Community Spotlight: Sauk Prairie Police Department

Box Installed: August 18, 2012

Box Location: 726 Water Street, Sauk City, WI (accessible 24/7, lower entrance)

For More Information Contact: Detective Paul Deuman, (608) 643-2427 or

In Wisconsin, the Sauk Prairie Police Department has been home to a permanent medication collection box since 2012.  During this time, they have collected over 1,300 pounds of unwanted, unused, or expired medications through take-back events or from their collection box.

For this edition of Community Spotlight, we asked Detective Paul Deuman to fill us in on how the program got started, and the impacts that it has had in Sauk Prairie.

1. The Sauk Prairie Police Department's permanent medication collection program started in April 2012. How did this program come about for Sauk Prairie, and why did you decide to take part?

Other agencies in our county were receiving grants for the take-back box so we decided to apply as well. We decided to take part in the program due to the high volume of prescription medications that were being abused in our area. Owners of the medications didn't know where to safely dispose of the medications and were just dumping them into the sewer system via the toilet.


2. How has the community responded since the program started? What are people saying about the take-back boxes and the program?

The community has been great. We have a great working relationship with our hospitals and clinics who give us medicine and they also sell the box to the community.


3. In 2014, your collected over 550 pounds (as of last count on our end, if this has changed, please let us know!!!) of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines. How do you get the word out about the program?

Hospitals and Clinics tell their patients where they can go 24/7 to drop off medicines. We also get the word out through Take Backs (events) and local media.


4. Have there been any challenges the program has faced since it was created? How did you overcome these and what have you learned to make the program even stronger?

The biggest challenge is the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Take Back closing for disposal. We are currently working the Baraboo Police Department on getting a grant for their incinerator to filter and proper destruction.


5. What have been some positive impacts from the program that you have seen since its inception? Has anything surprised you?

Our prescription pill usage has dropped tremendously. We have made it harder for pill seekers to obtain "left over" medicines. The only thing that has surprised me was the large amounts we take in yearly.


6. Do you have any words of advice to a community considering installing a permanent medicine take-back box?

Make sure they have a disposal location in their area. Otherwise storing them is frustrating.


7. Any additional information you would like to share?

Our community has embraced this program. We are emptying the box once a day and sometimes multiple times daily. It is nice knowing the medicine isn't being dumped into our water or sewers.

Many thanks go out to Detective Dueman and the City of Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin, for working so hard to provide a safe, convenient place to dispose of their community's unwanted, unused, or expired medications.  It's great to hear the impact the program is having on the community, and in extension their environment.  Keeping pharmaceuticals out of the hands of those they aren't intended for, and out of our environment, benefits us all.

If you have any questions about drug take-back programs, or if you're interested in getting a program started in your community, please check out our website or you can contact our Pollution Prevention Program Specialist Laura Kammin for more information.


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Posted by Erin Knowles at 10:00AM on 3/25/2015
Categories: Community Spotlight