Source New Jersey Hills.com
Bernard Township residents disposed of a record-setting amount of medicine at the third annual Medicine Drop-off Drive held by the Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse and the township police department at the Town Hall on Collyer Lane. Officials said that 205 pounds of medicines were collected. Township committee members John Malay, Andy Holvik, plus Cathy Phillips of the Municipal Alliance, and Samantha Harris of Ridge Against Alcohol & Drugs (RAAD), greeted the residents.
The collection was held in response to the “pills to heroin” epidemic that’s been gripping New Jersey, including Bernards Township. The Municipal Alliance reported that large amounts of pain medication, including hydrocodone, vicodin, oxycontin, fentanyl and lidocaine, were collected.
“Residents seemed to know that what they had in their possession could be dangerous,” said Municipal Alliance Grant Coordinator Kaitlin Kordusky. “Many people dropping off the pain medication, especially the oxycontin, warned us of what they were handing us and wanted to make sure it got disposed of properly.”
The Municipal Alliance reminds residents that a drop box for disposal of medicines is available at the police department from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Medicine sitting locked up could be disposed of improperly or found and used in a way it was not intended posing not only serious threats to the environment, groundwater and animals in the community, but also to both children and adults who may become addicted to the medications and use them for getting high.
Prescription pills produce a high very similar to that of heroin, and when prescription pills become too expensive or hard to get, individuals may turn to heroin to satisfy their craving. By disposing of medications properly, residents can help combat against pill addiction.
Medications can be unused, expired, over the counter or prescription. Only solid medications, pills, patches, inhalers or similar objects can be accepted. Liquids, medical waste, oxygen tanks, needles and syringes cannot be accepted.
Additional information and information on how to dispose of other substances can be found at NJconsumerAffairs.gov/meddrop.