ELIZABETH — The Union County Prosecutor’s Office, will be hosting an Operation Take Back New Jersey local collection site as part of the Operation Take Back NJ medicine disposal day. The event will take place at 32 Rahway Avenue in Elizabeth between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25. This initiative, open to all residents, was organized to encourage local community residents to properly dispose of their unused, unwanted and expired medicine, Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said.
This statewide effort, with the majority of New Jersey police departments participating, is being spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Division, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, the NY/NJ HIDTA, and the New Jersey National Guard. Union County residents looking for information on the program and local collection sites should visit www.operationtakebacknj.com.
John G. McCabe, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA New Jersey Division stated, “Last year New Jersey opened its medicine cabinets and we collected over 9,000 pounds of medicine that was unwanted. This year, we are very excited about the continued support brought on by Operation Take Back New Jersey, and we hope all citizens will take time to eliminate any and all medicines that are not suitable for proper medical use. The more public attention we bring to this issue, the more we trust that people will become educated on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”
According to McCabe and Romankow, the most recent studies by Monitoring the Future, University of Michigan, between 1997 and 2007, stated that treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 400 percent). In addition, between 2004 and 2008, the number of visits to hospital emergency departments involving the non-medical use of narcotic painkillers increased 111 percent. The proper disposal of unwanted medication will help reduce the potential for pharmaceutical diversion.
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