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Walgreens is doing its part in Wisconsin’s ongoing fight against drugs.

This Thursday, Walgreens will officially launch its drug take-back disposal program at 18 pharmacies across Wisconsin.

Walgreens executives will be joined by Governor Scott Walker, Attorney General Brad Schimel, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto at a media event at the Walgreens pharmacy located at 3522 W. Wisconsin Ave. at 10:30 a.m.

Of the 18 locations in the state, 17 are 24-hour pharmacies that will offer the drug take-back service round the clock.

The city of Brookfield location at 15650 W. Greenfield Ave. is the only non-24-hour location that will also be a part of the program.

Ponto praised Walgreens at Tuesday’s city council meeting for implementing the program.

“These kiosks provide a safe way to dispose of unwanted drugs at no cost,” Ponto said. “I am delighted that this has happened and I commend Walgreens for this effort.”

Ponto noted that in Walgreens’ original plans for the program announced earlier this year, the company had planned to have the program at only the 17 24-hour locations; however, he was able to persuade them to include Brookfield.

“Originally there were only 17 included in the state of Wisconsin. I want to thank (Walgreens national director of local government relations) Donovan Pepper for getting our Greenfield Avenue Walgreens in the program,” Ponto said.

Ponto and Donovan have had chances to talk over the years due to Walgreens being a sponsor of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“I believe a pharmacy is the best way to handle a drug take-back program,” Ponto said.

In May, the city’s public safety and human resources committee directed the city’s police department to begin preparations to implement its own program for drug collection. Police estimated that the cost of adding such a service would be between $18,562 and $18,862 with annual costs of between $17,362 and $17,662 to follow.

At the time, Ponto recommended that the committee wait on its decision while he continued his discussions with Pepper about having a Brookfield Walgreens included in the company’s program. Committee members and residents alike at the time noted that they would be happy with the Walgreens option as opposed to the police department, but wanted the service offered in some way.

The other 17 Walgreens locations in the state that will be part of the program are:

  • Appleton - 729 W. Northland Ave.
  • Greenfield - 4296 S. 76th St.
  • Janesville - 1717 Milton Ave.
  • Kenosha - 3805 80th Ave.
  • La Crosse - 900 West Ave. S.
  • Madison - 3710 E. Washington Ave.
  • Madison - 7810 Mineral Point Road
  • Menomonee Falls - N83W15701 Appleton Ave.
  • Milwaukee - 3701 S. Howell Ave.
  • Milwaukee - 3522 W. Wisconsin Ave.
  • Milwaukee - 7600 W. Capitol Drive
  • Milwaukee - 6442 N. 76th St.
  • Oconomowoc - 1021 Summit Ave.
  • Racine - 4810 Washington Ave.
  • Sheboygan - 1029 N. 14th St.
  • Wausau - 105 Central Bridge St.

Walgreens has also made Naloxone, also known as Narcan, a medication used to counter the effects of opioid overdose, available without requiring a prescription at all of its Wisconsin pharmacies.

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