Countywide Drug Take Back Day this Saturday

Photo Courtesy of Essex County
From left are Family Connections Executive Director Jacques Hryshko, Essex County Coordinator of Community Health Eileen Fishman, U.S. Health and Human Services Executive Officer Dennis Gonzalez, acting Essex County Prosecutor Ted Stephens II, DEA Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson, ADAPT Coalition Manager Joel Torres, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., Nutley Public Safety Commissioner Al Petracco, Detective Lt. Anthony Montanari of the Nutley Police Department, Nutley Mayor Joseph Scarpelli, Capt. Robert Irwin from the Nutley Police Department, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo and Capt. Nick Neri from the Nutley Police Department.

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The Essex County Division of Community Health, along with Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., 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 hold 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 Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, 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 collection 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,” ADAPT manager Joel Torres said.

“When people think of drug problems, they think of illegal drugs. But there is a great deal of abuse of prescription drugs and it’s a real epidemic. Prescription drugs can look like candy, but they can be dangerous,” Essex County Prosecutor Ted Stephens II said.

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 27, the permanent collection sites are open year-round so unwanted medications can be safely discarded at the public’s convenience.

The permanent collection locations in Essex County, 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 27, 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.