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By Joe Block 

Fuchs Trucking assists in Drug Take Back


June 7, 2018

Joe Block

Sauk Prairie Police chief Jerry Strunz, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, and Jay Doescher, president of Fuchs Trucking announced the collection and transportation of 63,541 pounds of unused medications gathered during Drug Take Back events, held throughout the state. Fuchs Trucking transported the medications for free.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced 63,541 pounds of unused medications were collected at Drug Take Back events on April 28th throughout the state. Schimel made the announcement at Fuchs Trucking, in Sauk City, on May 30th.

"Fuchs Trucking is pleased to support the Drug Take Back Program since 2015 as it has grown from two loads twice a year to three loads twice a year," said Jay Doescher, President of Fuchs Trucking. The prescription drugs were boxed, palletized, shrink wrapped, and secured in three semi-trailers for transportation to Covanta Energy Corporation in Indianapolis, where the drugs were incinerated.

Wisconsin was a national leader on Drug Take Back Day this April. It had more law enforcement agencies participate in the biannual event than any other state in the country, and Wisconsin had the third largest collection in the nation. Only Texas and California collected more unused drugs and medications.

Statewide, 312 police and sheriffs' departments hosted 163 Drug Take Back events on April 28th. Across the state, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, and hospitals have provided 390 permanent drug disposal drop boxes. The Sauk Prairie Police Department has a disposal drop box.

"Since my first day as attorney general, I have prioritized prevention because I know it is the key to stopping the opioid epidemic," said Schimel. "If more and more people continue to get hooked on these dangerous drugs, no amount of enforcement or treatment will put a stop to this public health crisis. But the success of Drug Take Back Day is proof positive that more people in Wisconsin are understanding their role in preventing the opioid epidemic from getting worse, and Wisconsin is on the right track."

Proper drug disposal is important to preventing prescription painkiller abuse. Research has shown that 70% of initial painkiller abuse starts when drugs are obtained improperly from family members or friends.

Sauk Prairie Police Chief Jerry Strunz spoke about the connection between opioid abuse and heroin addiction.

From January 1st, 2012, to May 15th, 2018, there have been 66 overdose deaths in Sauk County. In 2015 and 2017, heroin made up 8 out of 10, and 9 out of 6 overdose deaths, respectively. In the other years since 2012, heroin was not the leading cause of overdose deaths. Most fatal overdoses occur in the home and are predominantly white and non-minority. 61% of overdose deaths were male. 8% were labeled as suicide.

Contacted after the press conference, Medical Director of Sauk Prairie Hospital Dr. John McAuliffe spoke about Prairie Clinic's changes to prescribing opioids. "Over the past 6 months we've reduced opiate prescriptions by 2/3rds," said McAuliffe. "Patient satisfaction has not changed. It's a testimony to educating patients on the alternatives".

Traditionally, patients were prescribed opioids for 2 -3 weeks after surgery. "We now prescribe for 3 days. 7 days is rare," said McCauliffe. Studies show that the chance of opioid addiction increases by 44% after a one-week refill and increases by 20% after each additional week.

"We have a lot of awareness in community [about opioid abuse]," said McCauliffe. "Patients have been well-tuned to the issue. They have been very receptive to the changes."

"Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain," said McCauliffe. "Heroin addiction isn't about sobriety, it's about establishing connections.


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