ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — On Monday, April 16, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and the Essex County Division of Community Health joined with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team, the Essex County Police Chiefs Association and the Essex County Crime Prevention Officers Association to announce plans for Drug Take Back Day and raise awareness about the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse. Drug Take Back Day will be held in conjunction with the DEA’s National Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28, at 16 permanent collection sites and four temporary collection sites at local municipal police departments throughout Essex County.
“Some of the most dangerous substances in your home are the unused prescription and over-the-counter medication in your bathroom closet. Youth may sneak pills and use them out of curiosity, but there is a real danger that this could lead to more severe drug abuse,” DiVincenzo said. “Ridding your homes of unused prescription medication and dangerous drugs is a simple and important safety measure we can all take. Using the collections sites ensures your unwanted pills are not used improperly and will be destroyed in an environmentally friendly manner. We encourage the public to join us on Drug Take Back Day.”
“The easiest way to heroin is with opioid abuse at home, with drugs taken directly from your own medicine cabinet. We have to keep these epidemic numbers from rising,” said Joel Torres, ADAPT coalition manager and member of FAMILYConnections.
“This is a great opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications before they fall into the hands of our children,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said, adding that more than 9 million pounds of prescription drugs nationwide, including about 9,000 pounds in Essex County, have been collected during Drug Take Back Days.
ADAPT, the Essex County Division of Community Health and the DEA formed partnerships with 20 municipal police departments to serve as collection sites. Although officials urge the public to participate in Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28, the permanent collection sites are open year-round so unwanted medications can be safely discarded at the public’s convenience.
The permanent collection locations, which are open year-round, are: Belleville Police Department, 152 Washington Ave.; Bloomfield Police Department, 1 Municipal Plaza; Caldwell Police Department, 1 Provost Square; East Orange Police Department, 15 South Munn Ave.; Fairfield Police Department, 230 Fairfield Road; Glen Ridge Police Department, 3 Herman St.; Irvington Police Department, 1 Civic Square; Livingston Police Department, 333 South Livingston Ave.; Millburn Police Department, 435 Essex St.; Montclair Police Department, 647 Bloomfield Ave.; Newark Police Department, 480 Clinton Ave.; North Caldwell Police Department, 136 Gould Ave.; Nutley Police Department, 228 Chestnut St.; Orange Police Department, 29 Park St.; Verona Police Department, 600 Bloomfield Ave.; and West Orange Police Department, 60 Main St.
The temporary collection locations, which will be open Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., are: Cedar Grove Police Department, 525 Pompton Ave.; Maplewood Police Department, 1618 Springfield Ave.; South Orange Police Department, 201 South Orange Ave.; and West Caldwell Police Department, 21 Clinton Road.
Residents can dispose of their unused prescription drug medication by placing it in the marked collection sites. Dropping off medication is anonymous and safe. Residents should remove any identifying information from the medication containers, such as their name, address, telephone number and doctor’s name. Medications that are collected are brought to a licensed facility where they are safely disposed.
For additional information, call 973-323-3907.