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GTPD to Collect Unwanted Medications

Get rid of your unneeded painkillers. It could help prevent a friend or relative from getting hooked.

Gloucester Township Police Department will join the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and law-enforcement agencies across New Jersey on Saturday, Sept. 29, to collect unwanted and expired prescription drugs.

The event is free and anonymous.

With Operation Take Back New Jersey occurring from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29, the Senior Center at the Chews Landing Road municipal complex will resemble a pharmacy more than anything else.

Only pharmacists won't be handing out drugs to those walking through the Senior Center's doors. Instead, police will be on hand to collect unused, unwanted and expired drugs.

The latest effort comes following successful collections in April and October 2011 and again this past April.

On April 28, Americans safely cleared their medicine cabinets of a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Drug-abuse task forces across the nation have found that many who become addicted to painkillers took their first pills after finding them in cabinets in their homes or friends' homes.

Operation Take Back New Jersey aims to reduce the likelihood of that happening.

The program also assures the drugs are disposed of in an environmentally sound fashion. Flushing prescription drugs down the toilet can taint the public water supply.

Township police officers will dispose of the controlled substances in a safe and non-hazardous manner, preventing pills from falling into the hands of juveniles or into the illicit market.

For more information on the local Operation Take Back New Jersey, call Lt. Brendan Barton or Cpl. Sean Grannan of the Police Department's Community Relations Bureau at 856-228-4011 or send them an email at bbarton@gtpolice.com or sgrannan@gtpolice.com.

Michelle Wolfson September 18, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I was just calling around asking people if they knew where I could get rid of some old , expired medications from the medicine cabinet. Hopefully, a lot of folks will take advantage of this.
Sean McCullen (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 08:03 PM
It is a great idea. The statistics show many people who end up getting hooked on painkillers first take them after finding them in the medicine cabinets of those who had them legally prescribed. So, if you're done recovering from your knee surgery or wisdom teeth extraction, drop off those unneeded drugs before they end up in your kids' hands. GTPD has participated in at least the last three "Operation Take Back New Jersey" events. If you can't make it over to GT police station on Sept. 29, but will be traveling by or near Pine Hill police station, they're also hosting one.
Michelle Wolfson September 20, 2012 at 04:36 AM
That is great. After having kidney stones in May, I had so much leftover medication from the hospital. I didn't want to toss it in the trash or flush it (a sadly common disposal method) so this is perfect.

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