Twenty two emergency room physicians from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin/Medical College of Wisconsin wrote the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors urging the board to develop a comprehensive plan to place drop boxes in pharmacies and to educate the public on the need for proper disposal. 

“Sadly, too many Milwaukee County children arrive in our department due to prescription drug overdoses,” the doctors wrote. “These overdoses commonly occur when a child finds and ingests unused medicine at the home of a family member or friend. Tragically, these situations can often result in lifelong disabilities, or even death.”

The doctors said many drug overdose situations cold be prevented through a comprehensive approach to reducing the volume of unused medicines throughout the county. The Medical Society of Milwaukee estimates Milwaukee County currently collects less than 10 percent of  of unused medicines in people’s homes.

“By finding innovative ways to begin increasing this collection rate, we have the significant opportunity to save children’s lives and improve health within the community,” the doctors wrote.

Read their full letter here: