April 25, 2018, East Orange, NJ: The City of East Orange, in conjunction with the Essex County Division of Community Health, the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT), the Essex County Police Chief’s Association and the Essex County Crime Prevention Officers Association, are raising awareness about the dangers of prescription drugs and highlighting a special awareness event on Saturday, April 28th when 20 municipal departments throughout Essex County will serve as collection sites.
East Orange Police Headquarters, located at 15 South Munn Avenue, is a permanent collection site, and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be dropped off 24 hours a day.
On Monday, April 16th, East Orange was the host site for a Drug Take Back Day Kick-Off and Mayor Ted R. Green encouraged residents to take advantage of the 24-hour dropbox for proper disposal.
“This is a very important issue that may not be considered a major issue until it’s too late. Access to medicine cabinets and prescription pills is all too easy and one dosage attempted out of curiosity could be a fatal one,” said Mayor Green.
According to Frank Tarentino, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, more than 9 million pounds of medications have been collected nationwide since the first National Drug Take Back Day 15 years ago.
“New Jersey residents have surrendered more than 208,000 pounds and residents of Essex County have surrendered approximately 8,700 pounds of medications. These were all medications that did not fall into the hands of our children,” said Tarentino. “Every day in the United States, approximately 2,500 children, beginning as young as age 12, will take a prescription pain reliever for the first time for the purpose of getting high. The United States makes up about 5% of the entire world population, astonishingly, as a nation, we consume 80% of all prescription pain medications.”
Residents are encouraged to dispose of their unused prescription drug medication by placing it in the dropbox located inside the lobby of EOPD HQ. Dropping off medication is anonymous and safe. Residents should remove any identifying information from the medication containers, such as their name, address and telephone number and doctor’s name. Medications that are collected will be brought to a licensed facility where they are safely disposed.