Essex County, NJ – On Thursday, April 13, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the Essex County Division of Community Health joined with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT), the Essex County Police Chief’s Association and the Essex County Crime Prevention Officers Association to announce plans for Drug Take Back Day and raise awareness about the dangers of prescription and over the counter drug abuse. Drug Take Back Day will be held in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Day on Saturday, April 29 at 15 permanent collection sites and five temporary collection sites at local municipal police departments throughout Essex County.
“Some of the most dangerous substances in your home are the unused prescription and over the counter medication in your bathroom closet. Youth may sneak pills and use them out of curiosity, but there is a real danger that this could lead to more severe drug abuse,” DiVincenzo said. “Ridding your homes of unused prescription medication and dangerous drugs is a simple and important safety measure we can all take. Using the collections sites ensures your unwanted pills are not used improperly and will be destroyed in an environmentally friendly manner. We encourage the public to join us on Drug Take Back Day,” he added.
“We ask that residents clean out their medicine cabinet and visit their nearest permanent or temporary prescription medication collection site to discard their old or unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications,” said Joel Torres, Coordinator of ADAPT. “The Take Back Day and the permanent collection sites provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of medications while educating the general public about the potential for the abuse of medications,” he added.
“This removes a layer of someone possibly becoming addicted to drugs. We are saving lives by creating initiatives such as this,” Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Oliver said.
“The opioid crisis is real. It’s important that we don’t provide opportunities for residents to begin a life of addiction,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.
“These collection boxes are a great option for people to get rid of drugs when they no longer need them, removing the temptation to abuse them,” Freeholder Patricia Sebold said.
“Drug Take Back Day, the drug collection box and Operation Hope are all part of our efforts to contain the drug epidemic in our town. We have always taken community policing seriously and believed it was more than just police walking the streets,” West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi said.
“Programs such as this educates the public about the dangers of drug abuse. The collection boxes are a safe and anonymous way of disposing of unwanted drugs,” said North Caldwell Police Chief Mark Deuer, who also serves as President of the Essex County Police Chiefs Association.
“This is important to us because of the severe problems the drug epidemic creates. The bests way to begin to combat abuse is to start in the home and remove opportunities,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski said.
ADAPT, the Essex County Division of Community Health, and the DEA formed partnerships with 20 municipal police departments to serve as collection sites. Although officials urged the public to participate in Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 29th, the permanent collection sites are open year-round so unwanted medications can be safely discarded at the public’s convenience.
The permanent collection locations, which are open year-round, are as follows:
- Belleville Police Department, 152 Washington Avenue, Belleville
- Bloomfield Police Department, 1 Municipal Plaza, Bloomfield
- Caldwell Police Department, 1 Provost Square, Caldwell
- East Orange Police Department, 15 South Munn Avenue, East Orange
- Fairfield Police Department, 230 Fairfield Road, Fairfield
- Glen Ridge Police Department, 3 Herman Street, Glen Ridge
- Irvington Police Department, 1 Civic Square, Irvington
- Livingston Police Department, 333 South Livingston Avenue, Livingston
- Millburn Police Department, 435 Essex Street, Millburn
- Montclair Police, Department, 647 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
- Newark Police Department, 480 Clinton Avenue, Newark
- North Caldwell Police Department, 136 Gould Avenue, North Caldwell
- Nutley Police Department, 228 Chestnut Street, Nutley
- Orange Police Department, 29 Park Street, Orange
- West Orange Police Department, 60 Main Street, West Orange
The temporary collection locations, which will be open on Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., are as follows:
- Cedar Grove Police Department, 525 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove
- Maplewood Police Department, 1618 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood
- South Orange Police Department, 201 South Orange Avenue, South Orange
- Verona Police Department, 600 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona
- West Caldwell Police Department, 21 Clinton Road, West Caldwell
Residents can dispose of their unused prescription drug medication by placing it in the marked collection sites. Dropping off medication is anonymous and safe. Residents should remove any identifying information from the medication containers, such as their name, address, telephone number and doctor’s name. Medications that are collected are brought to a licensed facility where they are safely disposed.
For additional information, please call 973-323-3907.
ADAPT was created by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in 2011, and is comprised of youth, parents, educators, law enforcement officials, substance abuse professionals, faith-based and government representatives, and other concerned citizens. It is managed by FAMILYConnections, a non-profit 501(c)(3) community-based counseling and family service agency with over 35 specialized programs for all ages from infants to seniors. Licensed by New Jersey’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Department of Children and Families, FAMILYConnections delivers research-based therapeutic services in its offices and on-site in preschools, schools, and directly in the home. For more information about ADAPT, please visit www.essexadapt.org.