Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and many police departments across New Jersey will be participating.
Federal, state and local officials are urging people to bring their unwanted or unused prescription drugs to local drop off sites across the state. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This will be the 13th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (over 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 29 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.
If you can’t make to the event on Saturday, some New Jersey police departments have secured drop boxes for residents to dispose of their unused medications safely and securely at any time throughout the year. For a list of those police departments that have the drop boxes, go to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website.
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