In an effort to rid township medicine chests of potentially dangerous medications, the Bernards Township Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse and Bernards Township Police Department again will hold the townshiip's annual Medicine Drop Off Drive Thru from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 28.

The free and anonymous dropoff will be held at the police department at the municipal complex at 1 Collyer Lane in downtown Basking Ridge.

Medications should be dropped off in their original packages or bottles, according to information from the Municipal Alliance. Participants should black out names on all prescription packages or bottles. These medications can be unused, expired, over the counter, or prescription.

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Only solid medications, pills, patches, inhalers or similar objects can be accepted. Liquids, medical waste, oxygen tanks, needles, and syringes cannot be accepted. Participants are welcome to put multiple medication bottles or boxes into a bag or hand them over individually.

“We’re so excited to be hosting this event again. It’s great to give people an opportunity to drop off any unused prescription or over the counter medication, said Community Program Coordinator and Municipal Alliance Grant Coordinator, Kaitlin Kordusky.

Those wishing to participate don't even have to exit their vehicles, Kordusky said. "Just drive up to the police station, hand a Municipal Alliance member your unused medications, and drive away. The medication will then be safely and anonymously disposed of. It couldn’t be more convenient."

Signs will be posted at 1 Collyer Lane on the day of the Drive Thru. Participants should follow the signs to the Police Department where Municipal Alliance members will be standing.

Unused prescription drugs can be dangerous, or abused

Oftentimes when people are prescribed medications by their doctors, they pick up the medications, use them until they feel well, and then unused medicine sits in the bathroom drawer or medicine cabinet for long periods of time, according to information released by the Municipal Alliance.

While the medicine sitting locked up isn’t harmful by itself, the possibility of what can happen when prescription medication gets into the wrong hands can lead to harmful outcomes, the township-based organization said in a release. Either someone else finds the medication and uses it in the way it was not intended, or people try to dispose of the medications improperly.

Improperly disposed medicines can also contaminate water supplies

According to Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano, “Leftover medicines pose serious safety and health threats and also raise environmental concerns. Prescription-drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States.

"Among youth, seven of the top 10 abused substances are pharmaceuticals," the sheriff added. "Additionally, medicines flushed down the drain or toilet can contaminate bodies of water, harm wildlife and end up in drinking-water supplies.”

Additional information can be found at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/meddrop.

The Drop Off Box that is located at the Bernards Township Police Department is always open for drop off betrween 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday to Friday. To drop off at other times, please call the Bernards Township non-emergency line at (908) 766-1122.

The mission of the Bernards Township Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse is to provide consultation, programs, training and resources to members of the Bernards Township community with the goal of preventing and reducing the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs through education, support of events and programs and presence in the community. For more information, visit www.bernardsalliance.org.