Authorities on Friday asked citizens to join the fight against prescription drug abuse by purging their medicine cabinets of unused pills during Saturday's 11th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The bi-annual drug disposal day, sponsored by the DEA, is part of an ongoing battle against addictions to prescription drugs and heroin.
With drug overdoses now the leading cause of accidental deaths nationwide, Drug Take Back Day helps rid homes of prescription drugs that could be abused, stolen or resold, Acting New Jersey Attorney General Robert Lougy said.
“New Jersey, like states across the country, is battling a drug addiction epidemic claiming victims from all walks of life. No family is immune,” Lougy said.
DEA collection locations, staffed by law enforcement officers, are open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at community sites across the state.
You can also discard drugs in "Project Medicine Drop" boxes at 158 police departments across New Jersey anonymously, no questions asked, any time of day. (see below).
“Studies have shown that most prescription abusers get their pills from friends and family, often by raiding their medicine cabinets,” said Steve Lee, acting director of the state Division of Consumer Affairs. “Purging unneeded medicine is a simple step consumers can take to keep these highly addictive pills from falling into the hands of those who might abuse them, or sell them for abuse.”
According to the DEA, four of five new heroin users begin their addictions with prescription pain medication.
Since its launch in 2011, New Jersey’s Project Medicine Drop program has collected more than 12,740 pounds of unwanted medicine and destroyed it safely through incineration.
Bergen County continues to lead the way for New Jersey with nearly two dozen drop boxes following the addition of one in Bergenfield on Friday.
Covanta Energy, a nationwide operator of energy-from-waste and renewable energy facilities, destroys the dropped-off medications at no cost to taxpayers or to the participating departments.
Before this, most people flushed their unused prescription drugs down the toilet, threw them in the trash, or kept them in the household medicine cabinet. This contaminated the water supply, helped start and feed habits — often for children — and tempted thieves.
The medication can either be disposed of in its original container or be removed and placed in the disposal box.
Liquids should be disposed of in the original container -- with the cap tightly sealed to prevent leakage.
Bloomingdale Police , 101 Hamburg Turnpike
Hawthorne Police , 445 Lafayette Avenue
Little Falls Police , 225 Main Street
North Haledon Police , 103 Overlook Avenue
Passaic County Sheriff's Office (3): 401 Grand Street, Paterson; 11 Sheriff's Plaza, Paterson; 435 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne
Passaic Police , 330 Passaic Street
Ringwood Police , 60 Margaret King Avenue
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