Discard unused medications safely on Drug Take Back Day

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., the Essex County Board of County Commissioners, the Essex County Division of Community Health, and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team are encouraging residents to dispose of their old or unwanted prescription medications during the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s annual Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 24. Collection sites are set up at municipal police departments throughout Essex County. Bringing medication to the collection locations is free and anonymous.

“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.”

“Prescription drug abuse and misuse is an epidemic, and we are pleased that Essex County is a leader in opioid-abuse prevention. Drug Take Back Day and the year-round collection boxes have proven to be effective, with over 4,000 pounds of pills collected last year,” said Joel Torres, ADAPT coalition manager.

ADAPT, the Essex County Division of Community Health and the DEA formed partnerships with municipal police departments to serve as collection sites. Although officials urge the public to participate in Drug Take Back Day on April 24, 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 as follows: 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.; Maplewood Police Department, 1618 Springfield Ave.; Millburn Police Department, 435 Essex St.; Montclair Police, Department, 647 Bloomfield Ave.; Montclair State University Police Department, 1 Normal Ave.; Newark Police Department, 22 Franklin St.; North Caldwell Police Department, 136 Gould Ave.; Nutley Police Department, 228 Chestnut St.; Orange Police Department, 29 Park St.; South Orange Police Department, 201 South Orange Ave.; Verona Police Department, 600 Bloomfield Ave.; and West Orange Police Department, 60 Main St.

The temporary collection locations, which will be open on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., are: Essex Fells Police Department, 255 Roseland Ave. in the rear of the building, 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 discarded.

For additional information, call 973-323-3907.