Police Collect Unwanted Medicine Saturday
Verona, Cedar Grove Police Departments will be collecting unused, unwanted and expired medicine for proper disposal at each town hall.
On Saturday, the Verona and Cedar Grove Police Departments are accepting expired or unused prescription medication as part of a national program.
The program has been extremely successful in Cedar Grove, where residents collected 78 lbs. of pharmaceuticals last April as part of a statewide Drug Enforcement Administration Take Back New Jersey Day, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cedar Grove has been participating in the program since 2009, said chief Richard Vanderstreet.
He said syringes and other sharp instruments will not be accepted.
In a statement released by Cedar Grove police, the department said, “Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.”
“In addition,” the statement continued, “many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away, both potential safety and health hazards.”
The amount of medication the Verona Police Department has collected in the past is significant, said Capt. Mitchell Stern. The department collected almost two full-size trash bags worth of medicine at their last collection, he said.
“Its important to clear out your medicine cabinets for several reasons,” Stern said, “It is important to cut down the illegal use of prescription medication, but it is just as important to stop people from taken the wrong medication by accident.”
For example, he said, it can be dangerous in certain situations such as if someone were to come home with a splitting headache and reach into the medicine cabinet for an aspirin, but instead pick up the wrong bottle or expired medicine.
“Another important reason for the collection is to ensure that the medicine is disposed of properly instead of dumping it into the toilet or garbage can,” said Stern.
According to the DEA, on April 28 a record-breaking 552,161 pounds of unwanted or expired medications were collected and properly disposed of across the country.