Gov. Chris Christie signed a pair of bills Wednesday aimed at preventing prescription drug and opioid abuse.
The governor, seated outside a drug rehabilitation center in New Brunswick, signed legislation that will expand the state’s medicine drop-off program and another bill that would establish a statewide Opioid Law Enforcement Task Force.
Christie was joined during the ceremony by lawmakers, community leaders and people receiving treatment at the New Brunswick Counseling Center.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done in New Jersey and proud of the work that we continue to do together to help people reclaim their lives,” Christie said.
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“Today, we are taking further action to keep our fight against drug abuse and addiction going strong,” he said. “We’re doing this by continuing successful programs like Project Medicine Drop to get unused prescriptions out of the medicine cabinet and into drop-off bins as well as fortifying our coordinated efforts against the scourge of opioid abuse in an effort to save more lives.”
The state’s more than 126 drop locations for unused prescription drugs already boasts that it collected nearly 27 tons of unused medications since 2011. The bill Christie signed on Wednesday seeks to expand the program.
Christie also signed legislation that established the task force that he said will identify, investigate and prosecute illegal sources and distribution of opiate drugs. The task force will coordinate with the state’s attorney general.