The Bernards Township Police Department again will be hosting a collection of unused, unwanted and expired medications as part of a statewide the medicine disposal day between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, at police headquarters, 1 Collyer Lane.
The Bernards Township police participate in the collection program each spring and fall, said Township Police Capt. Ed Byrnes. Each time, generally 30 to 40 pounds of medicines are turned in, he said. Medications accepted do not collect needles, syringes or illicit drugs, he said.
Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine said that department also will be participating in the collection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Bernardsville collection also has been attracting an increasing number of participants as awareness of the program spreads, said borough police. Bernardsville police department is at 166 Mine Brook Road, on Route 202 south.
The goal of the program, Operation Take Back N.J. is to allow the citizens to rid their homes of the unwanted and potentially dangerous medications, which could fall into the wrong hands, and possibly be misused by juveniles. Drugs turned over to law enforcement officials will be disposed in a safe and non-hazardous manner, according to information from township police.
Thousands of pounds of drugs collected
During the most recent collection in October 2011, Operation Take Back New Jersey collected 9,831 pounds of medications in the state, according to police. Nationwide, the program collected 377,086 pounds of unused, unwanted, and expired medications, according to information on the program.
Bernards Township police said the department is hoping for continued support, in the hopes that all citizens will take time to eliminate any and all medicines that are not suitable for proper medical use.
"The more public attention we bring to this issue, the more we trust that people will become educated on the dangers of prescription drug abuse," said a news release from the police department.
Bernards Township residents looking for information on the program and local collection sites should visit the Operation Take Back N.J. website. Among the reasons for trying to remove the unneeded medicines from local homes, according to the program, is that experts say each year a growing number of teenagers turn to a seemingly unlikely source to score drugs — their parents’ medicine cabinets.
Information from the police department said ecent studies by the University of Michigan, between 1997 and 2007, stated that treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 400 percent. In addition, between 2004 and 2008, the number of visits to hospital emergency departments involving the non-medical use of narcotic painkillers increased 111 percent. The proper disposal of unwanted medication will help reduce the potential for pharmaceutical misuse by the wrong people, the program's organizers said.