MILLTOWN, NJ - The Milltown Police Department's chief, Brian Knelle announced yesterday that the MPD is joining the New Jersey's Attorney General's Office "Project Medicine Drop." The announcement was made via a press release issued through the department on Monday, August 14.

A drop box was installed at the Miltown Police Department's headquarters on 39 Washington Avenue. It will be available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The drop box is located in the front desk hallway area and will even be accessible during holidays.

The Project Medicine Drop initiative was started by the Attorney General's Office to aide in the fight against the growing opiate and heroine crisis that is gripping the nation. Opiate and heroine abuse often goes hand in hand with the misuse of prescription painkillers. The project is a vital part of the AG's office's effort to put an end to the "diversion and abuse of prescription drugs," which includes highly addictive opiate painkillers such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Sign Up for E-News

Disposing of unused or expired prescription medicines in the drop boxes is also beneficial to the environment since it keeps the medications out of the water supply and the landfills.

"Project Medicine Drop is a welcomed addition to our commitment to help improve the public safety and quality of life in Milltown," Chief Knelle explained. "It will encourage our residents to be fully aware of the potential for abuse presented by otherwise beneficial medications."

All unused and expired prescription medications as well as pet medications can be placed anonymously in the Project Medicine drop box. Residents should remember to remove personal information such as address labels off of the bottles before dropping them in.

Project Medicine drop boxes are also located at other police departments throughout Middlesex County including the East Brunswick, Edison, Monroe Township, New Brunswick, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South Brunswick, South River, Spotswood and Woodbridge Police Departments.

While the nation struggles with the addiction crisis, New Jersey is fighting it's own. According to statistics released by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, overdose deaths from heroine, morphine and the powerful, deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl have been steadily rising since 2010, showing a 214% increase. The New Jersey Medical Examiner's office reported that 2015 saw 1,587 overdose deaths. That figure rose from 918 in 2014. Statistics for 2016 were projected to be alarmingly high.