The Bernards Township Police this Saturday will again host an Operation Take Back New Jersey local collection site, to accept unused medications that should be removed from local medicine cabinets, as part of the statewide Operation Take Back NJ medicine disposal day.
The free collection will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. this Saturday at police headquarters, 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge.
The goal of the program is to allow citizens to rid their homes of unused, unwanted, or expired medications by turning these medications in to law enforcement officials who can dispose of the substances in a safe and non-hazardous manner, according to information from the township police department.
Along with removing potentially dangerous substances from medicine cabinets and the waste stream, the program prevents preventing these pills and medications from falling into the hands of juveniles or into other wrong hands, according to information from this and previous collections.
During October 2011, Operation Take Back New Jersey collected 9,831 pounds of medications in New Jersey. Nationwide, the program collected 377,086 pounds of unused, unwanted, and expired medications.
Bernards Police Captain Ed Byrnes said the collections always attract a large turnout, and a surprising number of medications.
No needles, pills and liquids will be accepted.
Pills and liquids are acceptable, but no needles will be collected, Byrnes said.
"This year, we are very excited about the continued support brought on by Operation Take Back New Jersey, and we hope all citizens will take time to eliminate any and all medicines that are not suitable for proper medical use," according to a release from township police. "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."
Recent studies by Monitoring the Future, University of Michigan, between 1997 and 2007, stated that treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 400 percent, according to information in the Bernards Township release. In addition, between 2004 and 2008, the number of visits to hospital emergency departments involving the non-medical use of narcotic painkillers increased by 111 percent, according to information from the police department.