Fighting opioid crisis: Milwaukee Fire Departments offering pre-paid envelopes for leftover pills

MILWAUKEE -- Prescription drug abuse is spiraling into an overwhelming dilemma, and the opioid crisis is something our nation grapples with every day.

In response, local firefighters are working to fight addiction in our neighborhoods. Thursday, Feb. 8, the Milwaukee Fire Department announced its involvement in a drug take back program.

"We're going to assume that you're one of our neighbors and you need to get rid of some pills," said Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing.

Totally confidential, no questions asked; the MFD is helping people get rid of unused or old prescriptions. Each of the city's 30 fire stations will now keep pre-addressed and pre-paid envelopes on-hand for drug disposal.

Michael Murphy

"So in the privacy of your home, you can take these medications -- that in many respects people throw in the garbage or waterways -- they can put them in an envelope and drop them at a mailbox somewhere and have them sent off," said Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy.

From there medications are collected, sorted and disposed of safely; all the while taking on a larger effort.

"Our EMS calls are being pushed up by the opioid crisis," said Chief Rohlfing.

Mark Rohlfing

"And then they run out of getting opiates from the medicine cabinets and they move to heroin. So we know if we can break the stream by preventing them from even having access, that could potentially save lives and that's what this is all about," said Murphy.

Envelopes are only for pills. Needles, syringes and liquids must be disposed of in approved Sharps containers and cannot be mailed.

To get an envelope, all you've got to do is visit any Milwaukee fire station and ask for one, then follow the simple instructions.

To learn more, CLICK HERE.