For Immediate Release:
April 23, 2012
Residents urged to clean out
their medicine cabinets
April 28 is ‘National Take Back Initiative’ day
FREEHOLD, NJ – People who have unwanted or expired drugs in their medicine cabinets are urged to dispose of them properly. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, most Monmouth County law enforcement agencies will take them as part of the National Take Back Initiative.
“Removing unused and unwanted medicines from your medicine cabinet and destroying them appropriately is one way safeguard lives and protect the environment,” said Freeholder Director John P. Curley, liaison to the county’s Mental Health and Addiction Services division. “The rise in teen drug use has been tied to the availability of unused and unchecked items in home medicine cabinets. 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 Web site 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 40 local police departments will be accepting the medications during this Saturday’s event.
“This effort will reduce the prescription drugs that are readily available 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 benefit of this effort is that all of these medicines will be disposed of properly,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso, liaison to the county’s Reclamation Center. “We will be sending these medicines to Reclamation Center under the best disposal conditions and they will be kept out of our water supply.”
Nationally, Americans have removed 995,185 pounds (498.5 tons) of medication from circulation in the past 13 months under the various DEA take back programs.
“These drugs could end up doing more harm than good,” 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.”
For more information on the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and local collection information, visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.us.
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