WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The Woodland Park Police Department now offers a free, safe medication disposal drop box in its headquarters where the public can bring expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications 24/7.

Installed through the Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program, the convenient drop box allows residents to help reduce the chances of accidental or intentional misuse by disposing of medications in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Among adolescents, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the commonly abused illicit drugs by high school seniors. Seventy percent of 12th graders said that prescription narcotics were given to them by a friend or relative for nonmedical use (NIDA, 2011). In addition, prescription medications have become the leading cause of accidental childhood poisonings.

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“The Woodland Park Police Department is grateful to Rite Aid for implementing this program,” said Police Chief Eileen Tiernan. “Our residents now have a safe and convenient way of disposing their unwanted, unused or expired medication. Our Municipal Alliance Against Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has been asking to participate in this program for some time now.”

The drop boxes accept solid pharmaceuticals such as pills, capsules, patches, inhalers, and pet medications. They cannot accept syringes or liquids.

In addition to the drop boxes, Rite Aid has a number of initiatives to combat drug abuse.  All Rite Aid pharmacies provide free DisposeRx packets to patients with opioid prescriptions. The packets contain a biodegradable powder that, when mixed with water in the vial, dissolves drugs, forming a gel which may be safely discarded in the trash.

The pharmacy chain also sells naloxone, a medication that can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, at all of its locations without a prescription.

In addition Rite Aid also participates in prescription drug monitoring programs including a "red flag" process for pharmacists to regularly review prescriptions for patients not known by the pharmacy or where there may be concerns or suspicions of misuse.