Helping Seniors Dispose of Medications Safely


Thursday the Alliance to HEAL, La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department and Aging and Disability Resource Center launched a new program.

A prescription drug pick up.

“When they originally installed the prescription drop boxes they set a goal to do it within the first year. We kind of established this goal late last fall and we’re able to make it happen already in March,” said Sheriff Jeff Wolf of the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department.

The program targets a specific group, senior citizens.

Sheriff deputies teamed up with a meal delivery service to hit about 40 different residences.

At every stop, residents could give the deputies their unused or unwanted prescription medication to be disposed of properly.

“I think it’s a great idea because people, like myself, just close the medicine door and don’t think about it, you know,” said Mary Herold of Onalaska.

Each resident was previously contacted and supplied a bag to put the medication in prior to pick up.

“I think our main concern, or kind of our goal here, is that this group of individuals are vulnerable. Potentially having caretakers come in and out of the home, family, friends, etc. That we felt it was important to assist them in that process in getting those items out of their home so that they themselves wouldn’t be at risk,” said ADRC Manager Carissa Pagel-Smith.

Officials also say people who are older might not know where the drop boxes are, or have a hard time getting there.

“We basically invented our own process. We put some things into place in what we’re looking for and what we’re going to collect and we’ll go from there,” said Wolf.

Following Thursday’s launch, the Sheriff’s Department, Alliance to HEAL and ADRC will look at how successful the pick up was to determine how often they will continue the program into the future.

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