It’s Time Again to Clean-Out Your Medicine Cabinet

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On Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. many local agencies will team-up with the Drug Enforcement Administration to give the public its 15th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

For more information about this event and to find locations where to drop off your unused medicines, go to https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.   To locate a collection site near you, go to http://tinyurl.com/https-apps-deadiversion-usdo.

Americans nationwide did their part to drop off a record number of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications during the DEA’s 2018 15th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, at close to 6,000 sites across the country. Together with a record-setting amount of local, state and federal partners, DEA collected and destroyed close to one million pounds-nearly 475 tons-of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, making it the most successful event in DEA history.

This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,964,714 pounds, or 4,982 tons.

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.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen 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.

“Many people are not aware of the risks of prescription and over-the-counter drugs,” said Wellspring’s Executive Director and CEO Ezra Helfand, “and they are not aware of how common the abuse of these medications have become.”

New Jersey residents have the added benefit of “Project Medicine Drop”, an important component of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs efforts to halt the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. It allows consumers to dispose of unused and expired medications anonymously, seven days a week, 365 days a year, at "prescription drug drop boxes" located within the headquarters of participating police departments. Go to http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/meddrop/pages/locations.aspx for more details, and for a list or permanent collection boxes in New Jersey.

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