NJ Residents Can Get Rid Of Unused, Unwanted, & Expired Medicine Saturday

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TRENTON – The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey (SANJ), today, kicked-off the 2012 annual American Medicine Chest Challenge-New Jersey.

The American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) — a public health initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse will provide an opportunity for residents to dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired medicine at collection sites throughout New Jersey on Nov. 10. Participating locations are listed on AmericanMedicineChest.Com and can be accessed using the AMCC-NJ mobile app for iPhone or Droid.

The New Jersey event is being coordinated by PDFNJ, SANJ, the New Jersey National Guard, and Drug Enforcement Administration – New Jersey, with the support of the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA), New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS), The New Jersey Broadcasters Association and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

This initiative challenges New Jersey residents to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:

  • Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
  • Secure your medicine chest.
  • Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site.
  • Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently labeled prescription drug abuse an epidemic, reporting that the death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade and more than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers obtained them from friends or relatives, and, there has been a 400% increase in substance abuse treatment admissions for people abusing prescription drugs.

AMCC Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the PDFNJ, Angelo M. Valente, explained, “the goal of this community based public health initiative is to inform New Jersey families of the need to dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired medicine because these excess medicines can be a danger lurking in the family home.”

“The American Medicine Chest 5-Step Challenge will help save the lives of your children,” Valente explained.

Sheriff Frank X. Balles, president of SANJ, explained, “The Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey is proud to be taking a leadership role is the important lifesaving initiative for New Jersey residents. Residents in any county of New Jersey, who want to dispose of their unused, unwanted, and expired medicine on November 10th, should visit www.americanmedicinechest.com to find out where in their community a collection site will be held.”

Balles added, “The AMCC is designed to bring to light the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the easy accessibility within the home by generating unprecedented media attention to the issue of prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse, to create a way for adults to anonymously, legally, and safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine, and to encourage families to take the five step American Medicine Chest Challenge. Prescription pills are easily accessible to teenagers, and a “gateway drug” to heroin.”

AMCC is based on the success of the nationally recognized Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey (OMC-NJ). OMC-NJ was the first in the nation statewide day of disposal, held in November 2009 with a one day, four-hour, state-wide event that netted over 9,000 lbs. of medicine, with a street value of over $35 million, while simultaneously garnering over a million dollars in in-kind media attention on the issue of prescription and over the counter drug abuse. The program was recognized in the 2010 Drug Strategy of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the New Jersey Ad Club, Jersey Shore Public Relations and Advertising Association, the Public Relations Society of New Jersey, and the National Association of Government Communicators.

AMCC is being supported by numerous organizations in New Jersey including the New Jersey Broadcaster’s Association, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. National sponsors include PhRMA, The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the American College of Emergency Room Physicians, New Jersey Prevention Network, Covanta Energy, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, and Generic Pharmaceutical Association. The parent organization of AMCC is the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.


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