A new effort is underway in Waunakee to provide drug lock boxes to all households that would like them in an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse.
Jodie Sorenson of the Waunakee Community Cares Coalition, with Genna Eaton of the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, launched the lock box initiative last month, with funding from the Waunakee Rotary Club and grants. They attended the May 18 Waunakee Rotary meeting to describe the lock box campaign in greater detail and thank the club members.  
Jodie said the boxes will reduce access to prescription drugs in households, along with accidental intake.
A survey of the graduating class of 2016 showed 73 percent of respondents said it was OK to try drugs. Some 64 percent said it was OK to consume drugs or alcohol at school or at school-sponsored events, Sorenson said. And 7 percent said they had used prescription drugs within the past 30 days to get high.
Jodie said people are more vulnerable to addiction in their teens and early 20s. Ninety percent of Americans with a substance abuse problem began using drugs before the age of 18, she said adding four out of five heroin users begin with using prescription drugs.
In the last 10 years, eight Waunakee High School graduates have died of drug overdoses.
The trend is county wide, and Jodie shared a statement from Sheriff Dave Mahoney.
“In 2016, 87 Dane County citizens lost their lives to opioid overdoses, and over 100 had their lives saved by first responders. The theft of prescription opioids can be prevented by important programs like the Lock box Initiative underway in Waunakee,” Mahoney said.
The boxes are one preventive measure. On April 29, Waunakee Community Cares Coalition and Waunakee Neighborhood Connection invited the community to a National Med Drop Day at the Waunakee Police Department’s Med Drop Box. They collected over 70 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Wisconsin collected more than 66,000 pounds that day, and nationwide, the tally was more than 900,000 pounds.
So far, more than 137 community members have ordered lock boxes, which are free to Waunakee area residents.
“We want to provide them to all residents regardless of income,” Sorenson said.
For more information on ordering a lock box, visit the WCCC website at http://www.vil.waunakee.wi.us/780/Waunakee-Community-Cares-Coalition or the WNC website at waunakeeneighborhoodconnec tion.com

Other News:
–The club inducted Erick Plumb  as a new member. Welcome, Erick.
-Tri 4 Schools is in need of volunteers for the May 20 children’s Triathlon. It will take place from 7:30-11 a.m.
Guests: Liz Deihs, guest of Allison Feldbruegge.
Visiting Rotarians: None
Birthdays: May 25, Joyce Maly; May 26, Bob Lenz.
Anniversaries: May 25, Mick and Jeamie Holm; May 25, Jon and Barbara Townley; May 30, Phil and Betty Willems.
Greeters: May 25, Joe Baer and Roberta Baumann; June 1, Ken Ballweg and Scott Biba; June 8, Connie Blau and Michael Blodgett; June 15, Jonny Buroker and Kathy Cefalu.