Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge

October 24, 2018

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1100

DEA says: “Time to clean out your medicine cabinets”

NEWARK, N.J. – This Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Drug Enforcement Administration and its local law enforcement partners will once again give the public an opportunity to safely dispose of their expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications during the 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 

“This national program began right here in New Jersey in 2009,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, Valerie A. Nickerson.  “Drug prevention starts in the home, and this is an easy and convenient way for New Jersey residents to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs.  Nearly 75% of new heroin users began by abusing prescription pain killers, so Take Back Day is a way to remove that temptation.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017 more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, and heroin, fentanyl, and/or prescription pain killers were responsible for more than 49,000 of those deaths.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative addresses a critical public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States continue to be alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

This weekend, more than 5,400 collection sites manned by more than 4,400 partner law enforcement agencies nationally will be accepting surrendered medications.  The public can find a nearby collection site at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 800-882-9539. (DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps.)

Last April, New Jersey residents turned in more than 14,800 pounds of prescription medications. 

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