BERNARDS TWP., NJ – The first "Rx Mission Drive-in/Drop-Off"  will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Bernards Township Public Works Garage, 277 S. Maple Ave, Basking Ridge. This drop off will allow all Somerset County residents to safely dispose of unwanted or outdated prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

The Rx Mission Drive-in/Drop-Off is a rain-or-shine medicine-collection program sponsored by the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, the Somerset County Solid Waste Management Division and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The program is held in conjunction with all scheduled Somerset  County Household Hazardous Waste drop-off events.

“The focus of this ongoing program is to protect the environment and get rid of unwanted, unused and outdated medicine, especially potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals,” said Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano.

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“County residents have shown amazing support of this drop-off program, and our community and loved ones are safer because of their efforts,” he said. “In 2017, 2,742 pounds of unwanted medicines were collected for proper disposal through this and other medicine drop-off programs in our county.”

Medications should be in their original packages with personal information such as name and address removed.  The name of the medication should be visible. Illegal drugs, needles and sharps should not be brought to the drop-off.

“Leftover medicines pose serious safety and health threats and also raise environmental concerns when flushed down the drain or toilet because they can contaminate bodies of water, harm wildlife and end up in drinking-water supplies,” said Sheriff Provenzano.

“Prescription-drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States.  Among youth, seven of the top 10 abused substances are pharmaceuticals,” he said.

The USDEA reports that prescription drugs, including opioids and antidepressants, are responsible for more overdose deaths than street drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. Many teenagers mistakenly believe prescription drugs are "much safer" than illegal drugs and prescription painkillers are not addictive.

Residents also can take advantage of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office medicine collection drop box, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, no questions asked. The drop box is located on the lower level of the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove St. in Somerville, near the entrance to the Sheriff’s Office.

For the convenience of residents, additional drop boxes are located at participating municipalities.  Following are municipal medicine drop-box locations that are part of the program: Bernards Township Police Department, 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, 908-766-1122 (7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours, use the phone in the station house); Bound Brook Police Department, 226 Hamilton St., Bound Brook, 732-356-0800; Branchburg Police Department, 590 Old York Road at Route 202, North, Branchburg, NJ 08876, 908-526-3830; FranklinTownship Police Department, 495 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873, 732-873-5533; Hillsborough Township Police Department, 379 S. Branch Rd., Hillsborough NJ 08844, 908-369-4323; North Plainfield Police Department, 263 Somerset St., North Plainfield, NJ 07060, 908-769-2937; and Warren Township Police Department, 44 Mountain Blvd., Warren, NJ 07059, 908-753-1146.