BRANCHBURG, NJ – Residents can safely dispose of their unwanted and outdated over-the-counter and prescription medication at the  Rx Mission Drive-in/Drop-Off on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m.-o 2 p.m., at the Branchburg Public Works Garage, 34 Kenbury Road, rain or shine.

Medication should be in its original package with the name of the medication visible, but personal information should be removed so that the person’s name and address are not visible. Illegal drugs, needles and sharps should not be brought to the drop-off.

"The focus of this program is to protect the environment and get rid of unwanted, unused and outdated medicine, especially potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals," said Somerset County Sheriff Darrin Russo. “For nearly 10 years, county residents have shown support for the drop-off program, and our communities are safer because of their efforts."

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“Leftover medicine poses serious safety and health threats by affecting the environment. When medicine is flushed down the drain or toilet it can contaminate bodies of water, harm wildlife and end up in our drinking-water," Russo added.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most people take prescription medication responsibly. However, in 2017, an estimated 18 million people (more than 6% of those are teenagers) have misused medication at least once in the past year. The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that an estimated 2 million Americans have misused prescription pain relievers for the first time within the past year.

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 they believe that 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, and 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.  The following is a list of municipal RX medicine drop-box locations: 

Bernards Township Police Department, 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920, 908-766-1122 (7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours, use the phone in the station house); Bound Brook Police Department lobby, 226 Hamilton St., Bound Brook, NJ 08805, 732-356-0800; 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, 732-873-5533; 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; Warren Township Police Department, 44 Mountain Blvd., and Warren, NJ 07059, 908-753-1146; Raritan Borough Police Department, 20 1st St, Raritan, NJ 08869, 908-725-6700.

The Rx Mission Drive-in/Drop-Off is a 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 (USDEA). The program is held in conjunction with all scheduled Somerset County Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off events.