Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge

April 24, 2015

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1100

New Jersey Leaders Encourage Residents To Spring Clean Their Medicine Cabinet In The First New Jersey Prescription Drug Spring Cleaning Initiative

DEA’s SAC Kotowski at the New Jersey Spring Cleaning Event.
DEA’s SAC Kotowski at the New Jersey Spring Cleaning Event.

WEST NEW YORK, N.J. - - New Jersey leaders want families across the state to get cleaning this Saturday, and participate in the first ever Prescription Drug Spring Cleaning: Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet event. This public health initiative is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, the need to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine, and the over 150 locations across the state that are equipped to accept disposed medicine.

A press event to launch the effort was held today at the Otis Gardens senior residence complex in West New York, NJ, to remind residents that tomorrow they should spring clean their medicine cabinet.

Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division stated, “Prescription drug abuse has been a major issue in New Jersey.  One of the main causes has been ease of access to these medications from the medicine cabinet at home.  We can all do our part to reduce this problem by cleaning out our medicine cabinets and taking them to one of the many collection boxes located throughout the state.”

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said, “With our Project Medicine Drop initiative, New Jerseyans can disposed of unused medications any day of the year at 126 law enforcement offices across the state.  Today we have a simple reminder:  Take advantage of this opportunity to get rid of the unwanted medications in your home, and to talk with your loved ones about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”

“Spring cleaning is a great reminder to New Jersey families to remember to take the five-step American Medicine Chest Challenge which includes taking inventory of medicine in the home, securing the medicine chest, disposing of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine, taking medicine exactly as prescribed, and talking to children about the dangers of prescription drug-abuse,” explained Elaine Pozycki, co-chair of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.  

The Centers for Disease Control and (CDC) has labeled prescription drug abuse an epidemic, reporting that the death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade and more than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers obtained them from friends or relatives, and there has been a 400% increase in substance abuse treatment admissions for people abusing prescription drugs.

Information on the Rx Disposal locations throughout New Jersey can be found on AmericanMedicineChest.Com and with the free Mobile App “AMCC RXDrop” or at NJConsumerAffairs.gov/meddrop.

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