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Bergen: Here Comes Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Yonkers police will collect expired, unused and unwanted medications Saturday.
Yonkers police will collect expired, unused and unwanted medications Saturday. Photo Credit: Flickr

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.

  • Allendale Police, 500 West Crescent Ave.;
  • Bergenfield Police, 198 North Washington Ave.;
  • Cliffside Park Police, 525 Palisade Ave.;
  • Dumont Police, 50 Washington Ave.;
  • Edgewater Police, 55 River Rd.;
  • Fair Lawn Police, 8-01 Fair Lawn Ave.;
  • Franklin Lakes Police, 490 De Korte Dr.;
  • Little Ferry Police, 217 Liberty St.;
  • Leonia Police, 1 Wood Park;
  • Lodi Police, 1 Memorial Drive;
  • Lyndhurst Police, 367 Valley Brook Ave.;
  • Montvale Police, 12 Mercedes Dr.;
  • Oakland Police, 295 Ramapo Valley Rd.;
  • Palisades Park Police, 275 Broad Ave.;
  • Paramus Police, 1 Carlough Dr.;
  • Park Ridge Police, 33 Park Ave.;
  • Ramsey Police, 25 N. Central Ave.;
  • Ridgefield Police, 604 Broad Ave.;
  • River Vale Police, 334 River Vale Rd.;
  • Teaneck Police, 900 Teaneck Rd.;
  • Tenafly Police, 100 Riveredge Rd.;
  • Washington Township Police, 350 Hudson Ave.;
  • Waldwick Police, 15 E Prospect St.;
  • Westwood Police, 101 Washington Ave.

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