Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge

May 06, 2016

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1100

New Jersey Residents Turn In Almost 18,000 Pounds Of Expired And Unwanted Prescriptions

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 17,785 pounds, or 8.8 tons, of expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions throughout New Jersey.  Nationally, more than 893,000 pounds or 447 tons of prescription medications were collected.  This was the 11th National Take Back Day sponsored by the DEA.

Throughout New Jersey on Saturday, April 30, 2016, 222 police departments participated in the collection of the expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions throughout the state.  Residents were able to come to the various drop-off locations to safely dispose of these potentially dangerous prescription drugs.  The 10 previous Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2015 resulted in 5.5 million pounds or 2,762 tons of unwanted medication collected.  New Jersey residents surrendered more than 156,000 pounds or 78 tons of medication during that time frame. 

Special Agent in Charge Kotowski said, “It is very encouraging that New Jersey residents continue to play a vital role in removing these unused prescription medications from their homes, especially the prescription opioids.  Removal of these medications from the home reduces the temptation for family members to misuse and abuse them.”  Every day approximately 120 people die from a drug overdose, about half from prescription opioids and heroin.  Prescription opioid abusers in many instances will transition to heroin use and abuse. 
On Monday, May 2, members of the DEA’s New Jersey Division and members of the New Jersey National Guard Counterdrug Task Force collected the turned in medications and had them incinerated.

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