EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - NJ Connect for Recovery (NJCR), a service of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ), along with local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), encourages New Jersey residents to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28. With 765 suspected drug-related deaths in 2018 in New Jersey already reported, now more than ever residents must be vigilant about disposing of expired and unwanted prescriptions as New Jersey continues to battle the opioid crisis.

A free, confidential call line focused on helping individuals and families coping with substance use disorders achieve recovery, NJ Connect for Recovery provides direct access to Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Family Peer Specialists and Public and Private Insurance Specialists to help connect New Jersey residents to vital resources.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day gives individuals and communities the opportunity to help prevent pill abuse and theft by removing potentially dangerous, expired, unused, or unwanted prescriptions drugs from homes across the nation. Last October, in New Jersey alone, residents turned in 14,527 pounds of prescription drugs with the help of state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9 million pounds—more than 4,500 tons—of pills nationwide.

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“It is vital for New Jersey residents to take advantage of the resources available to them on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” said Carolyn Beauchamp, President of NJ Connect for Recovery, a service of the Mental Health Association in NJ.  “As an organization dedicated to helping individuals and families coping with substance use disorders achieve recovery, every day we see firsthand how seemingly harmless leftover prescriptions, in the wrong hands, can quickly lead to substance use disorders that destroy lives and tear families apart. By taking five minutes out of our day, we can all do our part to help prevent many of these tragedies.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including medication being stolen from home medicine cabinets. With more than 150 authorized collection sites located throughout the state, residents are encouraged to clean out their cabinets and keep their families safe from the leading method through which unused and expired prescriptions are obtained and misused.

A complete listing of conveniently located drop-off locations can be found on the DEA website. If a collection site is not available nearby, residents are encouraged to check back frequently, as new sites are added every day. If you are not able to make a drop off on April 28, there are permanent collection boxes throughout the state. New Jersey residents are encouraged to safely dispose of unused medications at any time throughout the year at secured drop boxes in the headquarters of local police departments.  For the hours of availability and other information, contact the police departments or call the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at (800) 242-5846.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 28 Take Back Day event, please visit www.DEATakeBack.com. For immediate guidance and support and to get your substance use disorder questions answered call NJ Connect for Recovery at (855) 652-3737.

About NJ Connect for Recovery

NJ Connect for Recovery (NJCR), a service of the Mental Health Association in NJ (MHANJ), was established as a free, confidential call line focused on helping individuals and families coping with substance use disorders achieve recovery.  NJCR provides a safe, confidential, nonjudgmental place that New Jersey residents may call to connect directly to Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Peer Specialists and Public and Private Insurance Specialists. NJCR offers a series of programs statewide, including free family education workshops and insurance navigation community workshops. Call (855) 652-3737 for immediate guidance and support and get your substance use disorder questions answered. For more information about NJ Connect for Recovery and its full range of community resources and services, please visit www.njconnectforrecovery.org.