Project Medicine Drop is an important component of New Jersey’s effort to halt the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. It allows consumers to dispose of unused and expired medications anonymously. This initiative builds on the success of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration`s National Take Back Initiative, and the American Medicine Chest Challenge, which is sponsored in New Jersey by the DEA, Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey, and Sheriffs` Association of New Jersey. Both programs provide single-day opportunities to drop off unused medications at pre-identified, secure locations.
Local Project Medicine Drop programs provide the opportunity to discard unused prescription medications every day throughout the year. The participating police agencies maintain custody of the deposited drugs, and dispose of them according to their normal procedures for the custody and destruction of controlled dangerous substances. They report the quantity of discarded drugs to the Division of Consumer Affairs on a quarterly basis. Prescription Drop Box Locations can be found here.
“For too many New Jerseyans, and others across the country, addiction starts in the medicine cabinet. Eight out of ten of those addicted to opioids start with prescription pain medications,” said Attorney General Porrino. “You may think that your leftover prescription medications aren’t doing any harm in your medicine cabinet, but your medicine cabinet is a veritable gold mine for drug dealers. Addiction knows no boundaries.”
Attorney General Porrino sent letters to the Commissioner of each state department asking them to help spread the word about the opportunity for employees to dispose of their unwanted medicines at today’s event. In addition, the event was posted to various social media platforms encouraging the public to attend.
The State of New Jersey is using many tools to combat the opioid epidemic. In addition to Project Medicine Drop, the NJ Prescription Monitoring Program, New Jersey implemented groundbreaking law in February to address the opioid epidemic, setting a five-day limit on initial prescriptions for opioid painkillers. In addition, it remains critical to promote treatment options in our communities and in the criminal justice system; and continuing aggressive criminal enforcement targeting major heroin traffickers, as well as pill mills and corrupt healthcare providers who divert prescription opioids – such as the arrest last week of a Bellville, Essex County doctor for prescribing oxycodone and other drugs to16 alleged drug dealers in Atlantic County. New effort are underway each day such as the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program recent addition of a web portal on the Division of Consumer Affairs website to encourage pharmacists to confidentially report if they suspect that individuals are diverting prescription narcotics.
Attorney General Porrino and Director Honig urged anyone with information related to the ongoing investigation, or related to other health care professionals or individuals engaging in this conduct, to call the Division of Criminal Justice’s confidential tip line at 866-TIPS-4CJ
More information on the opioid abuse prevention can be found at: www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/prescribing-for-pain
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