Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge

April 26, 2016

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1100

DEA Sponsoring 11th National Prescription Take Back Day

NEWARK, N.J. - - Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, is reminding New Jersey residents that on Saturday, April 30th from 10 am - 2 pm, the DEA will be holding its11th National Prescription Drug Take-Back.  As with the previous 10 Take-Back events, sites will be set up throughout communities nationwide so local residents can return their unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.  Collection sites in local communities can be found by going to www.dea.gov or by calling 800-882-9539. 

“Most prescription drug abusers get their pills from friends and family, including from the household medicine cabinet,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.  “Please remove unwanted prescription drugs from your homes and help prevent substance abuse fueled by our medicine cabinets.”

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms.  The removal from homes of unwanted prescription pills that can be abused, stolen or resold is an easy way to help fight the epidemic of substance abuse and addiction.

DEA New Jersey Division Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski said, “We are very proud that this initiative began in New Jersey in November 2009 and has grown into a national program.  Easy access to these prescription pain relievers in the house is a leading cause of misuse and abuse.  Today, four out of five new heroin users begin their addictions with prescription pain medications.  Getting these drugs out of the house can help to reduce the heroin epidemic facing the nation."

To date this program has removed 5.5 million pounds or 2,762 tons of unused prescription drugs since it began in 2010.  New Jersey residents have been doing their part by surrendering more than 156,000 pounds or 78 tons of prescription drugs.  The National Prescription Drug Take-Back is the result of a Take-Back program which was started in New Jersey by the DEA New Jersey Division, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, and the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey.   

America is presently experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers.  6.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than abuse cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined. 

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