OCT 31 (NEWARK, N.J.) – Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, announced that this past weekend’s National Prescription Take Back Day resulted in the collection and destruction of almost 15,000 pounds, or 7.5 tons, of expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions throughout New Jersey. This was the seventh National Take Back Day sponsored by the DEA.
Throughout New Jersey on Saturday, October 26, 2013, 222 police departments participated in the collection of the expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions at 232 collection sites throughout the state. Residents were able to come to the various drop-off locations to safely dispose of these potentially dangerous prescription drugs.
Prescription drugs that languish in medicine cabinets create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high; almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Americans participating in DEA’s six previous Take-Back Days turned in nearly 2.8 million pounds—almost 1,409 tons—of prescription drugs.On Monday, October 28, 2013, members of DEA’s New Jersey Division and members of the New Jersey National Guard Counter Drug Task Force collected the prescriptions from the collection sites and had them incinerated.