Oct. 26 is ‘National Take Back Initiative’ day
FREEHOLD, NJ – If you have unwanted or expired drugs in your medicine cabinets, you can dispose of them properly between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 when most Monmouth County law enforcement agencies will accept them as part of the National Take Back Initiative.
“Removing unused and unwanted medications from your medicine cabinet and destroying them appropriately is one way we can protect lives and the environment,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to the County’s Mental Health and Addiction Services division. “Studies have shown that the majority of people abusing prescription medication have obtained them through raiding the medicine cabinets of family and friends. We need to get these unused medicines out of our homes.”
Curley advises County residents to contact their local police department or visit the federal Drug Enforcement Administration website to find the closest collection site to dispose of their unused, unwanted or expired medicines.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said the program is anonymous and no questions will be asked of participants. The Sheriff’s Office and more than 20 local police departments will be accepting the medications during this event.
The County drop-off location is the Sheriff’s Office at 50 E. Main St. in Freeholdfrom 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 26.
“This effort will reduce the prescription drugs that are easily accessible to our children,” Golden said. “Prescription medicines are considered gateway drugs to other serious and dangerous street drugs. This weekend we can get our unwanted, unused and expired medicines out of our homes.”
The goal of the program is to encourage people to deliver these medications to law enforcement officials who can then dispose of these pills in a safe and non-hazardous manner, preventing them from falling into the hands of juveniles or into the illicit market in our communities.
“A big advantage of this effort is that all of these medicines will be disposed of properly,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s Reclamation Center. “We will be sending these medicines to the appropriate facilities to be destroyed and they will be kept out of our water supply.”
Nationally, Americans have removed more than 2.9 million pounds (1,409 tons) of medication from circulation in the past two years under the various DEA take back programs.
“Improper disposal of prescription medications could have serious consequences,” DiMaso said. “Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed can contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of these drugs saves lives and protects the environment.”
If you miss the Oct. 26 event, you can always drop off unwanted or expired medications at the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office.
For more information on the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and local collection information, visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.