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New Jersey residents turn in more than 14,000 pounds of unused and unwanted prescription drugs

(NEWARK, N.J.) – Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, announced that New Jersey residents turned in 14,527 pounds or 7.2 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions during DEA’s 14th National Prescription Take Back Day on October 28.  Nationally, more than 912,000 pound or 456 tons of prescription medications were collected. 

Throughout New Jersey on Saturday, October 28, 2017, 177 police departments participated in the collection of the expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions.  Residents were able to come to the various drop-off locations to safely dispose of these potentially dangerous prescription drugs.  Over the course of the 14 Take Back Day events New Jersey residents surrendered more than 217,000 pounds or 108 tons of medications. 

“More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance,” said Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson.  “The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation’s opioid epidemic, which has led to the highest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen.”

“Once again the residents of New Jersey have played a role in removing the available supply of prescription narcotics from their homes,” said SAC Nickerson.  “Today, four out of five new heroin users start by abusing prescription opioids so the removal of those unused pills from the home can play a role in reducing addictions.”   
Now in its 8th year, this event continues to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens. The DEA action comes just days after President Donald J. Trump announced the mobilization of his entire Administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioids crisis.

Complete results for DEA’s fall Take Back Day are available at www.deatakeback.com. DEA’s next Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 28, 2018.


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