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Record number of overdoses in La Crosse County continue to climb
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Record number of overdoses in La Crosse County continue to climb

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In La Crosse County, 32 individuals have died from drug overdose this year, which is more than double than last year and more than any other year on record.

Five additional overdose deaths have occured since the end of August alone, and the news comes as the community gears up for National Drug Take Back Day.

“The La Crosse Fire Department remains committed to working with our regional partners to inform area residents about safe medication disposal,” said Fire Chief Ken Gilliam in a statement.

La Crosse Fire Chief Ken Gilliam

Gilliam

“Educating our community about these disposal options is another important component of our ongoing community risk reduction efforts,” he said.

The nationally-recognized day is this Saturday, Oct. 24, when communities collect and dispose of unused and expired medications to help prevent drug overdoses and improper use.

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Due to the pandemic, the county will not hold a one-day, in-person event to collect medications, but instead is reminding the community of its various different options.

Here’s a list of prescription drug drop boxes currently open to the public:

  • Both Gundersen and Mayo Clinic health systems
  • Cass Street Pharmacy in La Crosse
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Health Center, open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department lobby, open during business hours
  • Onalaska Police Department, open Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Campbell Police Department, by appointment only. To make an appointment call the non-emergency dispatch line at 608-785-5942
  • Bangor Police Department, open every day from 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Prescription drug drop boxes at the La Crosse, Holmen and West Salem police departments are currently closed to the public.

While overdoses in the community continue to climb this year at record numbers, the options to dispose of medications have doubled in La Crosse County in the past two years.

There are 17 medication drop boxes installed throughout the county and 15 sharp boxes to dispose of medical sharps. An interactive map to view the prescription drug drop boxes can be found at alliancetoheal.com.

For more information on medication disposal across the state, visit doseofrealitywi.gov.

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