SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County Sheriff's officers will collect outdated, unwanted and unused medicines - no questions asked - in front of the Somerset County Administration Building, 20 Grove St., from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 29.
The annual Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a national event, with over 5.000 sites set up to collect the unwanted drugs and medicines.
Residents can bring pills and other solids, such as patches and creams, to the collection sites. Liquids, needles and other sharps will not be accepted. There is no charge for disposal.
Addictive prescription drugs that are thrown away or left untended on shelves and in drawers at home are often stolen and either abused or sold by family members and visitors, according to Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano.
"That is why the DEA and thousands of its state, local and tribal law-enforcement and community partners are holding this Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at over 5,000 sites around the country," he said.
America is experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers. Over six million Americans, age 12 and over - 2.4 percent of the population - abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, released last fall. This is more than the combined abuse of cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and methamphetamine.
“For our community’s safety, I look forward to continued efforts in safety and education for our residents to achieve victory against drug abuse,” Provenzano said. “Disposing of unused medications is a step in the right direction by helping to prevent drug thefts, abuse and overdoses.”
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. The majority of prescription-drug abusers report that they obtain their drugs from friends and family - and the home medicine cabinet.
Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons - over 730,000 pounds - of prescription drugs at close to 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take-Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 3,500 tons - over 7.1 million pounds - of pills.
Residents can dispose of medications year-round by dropping them off at the Sheriff’s Office medicine collection drop box, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The drop box is located in the lower level of the county administration building, near the entrance to the Sheriff’s Office.
For the convenience of county residents, additional 24/7 drop boxes are located at participating municipalities: Bernards Township Police Department, 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920-(908) 766-1122; Branchburg Police Department, 590 Old York Road at Route 202 North, Branchburg, NJ 08876-(908) 526-3830; Franklin Township Police Department, 495 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873-(732) 873-2300; Hillsborough Township Police Department, 379 S. Branch Rd., Hillsborough NJ 08844-(908) 369-4323; and North Plainfield Police Department, 263 Somerset St., North Plainfield, NJ 07060-(908) 769-2937. Liquids and syringes are not accepted at these locations.