Police Launch National Take-Back Initiative To Get Rid of Unused, Unwanted, and Expired Medicine

Mayor Mark A. Smith, Public Safety Director Jason O’Donnell, and Police Chief Robert Kubert announced that the Bayonne Police Department will offer Bayonne residents the opportunity to turn in unused, unwanted, and expired medicine on Saturday, October 29, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., at the main entrance to City Hall, 630 Avenue C.

All medications will be accepted. No questions will be asked. All participants have the right to remain anonymous and to remove patients’ names from medication bottles. People have the option of turning in medications within bottles or to dump out pills into receptacles at the collection site.

Syringes will NOT be accepted, because they are not considered medication. They are in the separate category of medical waste.

This local collection is part of a nationwide effort called the National Take-Back Initiative, which was known previously as Operation Medicine Cabinet. Over 250 law enforcement agencies in New Jersey are participating in the program. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Jersey Division, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, the New Jersey National Guard, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, are spearheading this effort.

The purpose of the National Take-Back Initiative is to draw the public’s attention to the potential misuse and abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicine. The goal of the program is to allow people to deliver all of their unused, unwanted, or expired medications to law enforcement officials who can dispose of these controlled substances in a safe and non-hazardous manner. Law enforcement agencies want to prevent these pills from falling into the hands of juveniles or into the illicit drug market in our area.

Unwanted prescription drugs should not be flushed down the toilet, because doing so is harmful to the environment.

A 2007 report by the National Study of Drug-Use and Health revealed that 70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that nearly 9 million people use prescription medication for non-medical uses. A survey of New Jersey middle school principals in 2007 reported that prescription drugs are abused more than twice as much as ecstasy and cocaine are by middle school students in this state. Between 2004 and 2008, the number of visits to hospital emergency departments involving the non-medical use of narcotic painkillers increased by 111%. For all of these reasons, New Jersey’s law enforcement agencies are offering the public the National Take-Back Initiative for the efficient, secure, and environmentally secure disposal of medications.

For more information about the National Take-Back Initiative and the drug drop-off on October 29, please call the Bayonne Police Department at 201-858-6900 or visit the DEA’s website at www.dea.gov.

Parking in Bayonne for Operation Medicine Cabinet drop-offs will be available in front of City Hall on Avenue C, between 27th and 28th Streets.