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Family Fresh Market is Drug Take-Back Day collection site on Saturday

Hudson police officer James Wildman and retired Hudson teacher Dolly Qualls, participate in the Drug Take-Back Day at Family Fresh Market in Hudson last April. The store is once again a drop-off site this Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Submitted photo)

Family Fresh, 2351 Coulee Road, is cooperating with Hudson area law enforcement and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to hold a national prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The idea is to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The DEA and local law enforcement have been holding the Take-Back days twice a year for the past several years.

Anyone with drugs they no longer need or wish to get rid of safely can bring their medicine containers and empty them into plastic bags that are provided. The containers are not collected so no personal information is not at risk. All drugs are accepted including opiate painkillers.

In addition to dropping off medication at Family Fresh on Take-Back day, law enforcement agencies including the Hudson and North Hudson police departments as well as the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department have installed prescription drug drop-off boxes at their offices for several years now. But HPD Chief Marty Jensen said the public is not always aware of the service.

At HPD the drop off box is located just inside the public office at 101 Vine St. Plastic bags are provided to hold the pills. Jensen said the drug collected are secured and are incinerated by a local waste contractor. The drugs collected on the DEA Take-Back days are taken to the agency’s Eau Claire office to be destroyed.

“We want to get the word out that people can get rid of their prescription drugs safely, conveniently and at no charge throughout the year at any law enforcement office in the Hudson area. The Take-Back days help raise awareness. We are happy to partner with Family Fresh to in this effort,” said Jensen.

Jensen said drug drop-off sites will hopefully encourage people to dispose of any drugs that are no longer needed or are out of date, especially prescription painkillers that can be addictive and can be life threatening when used improperly.

According to information provided by St. Croix County Health & Human Services medications that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, misuse, and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition the usual methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- both pose potential safety and health hazards.

This will be the seventh Take-Back Day in three years. Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons of medication from across the country. For more information about the Oct. 26 Take-Back day contact the Hudson Police Department at (715) 386-4771. More information about drop sites throughout the county can be found at or by calling (715)381-4320.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604