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Get Rid of Those Old Prescriptions

There are drop-off sites around the county where old prescription medicine can be disposed of safely.

The National Drug Enforcement Administration is holding a medication take back day on Saturday, April 28, to safely get rid of prescription medications.

In New Jersey, the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, is trying to get the word out to let residents know they can safely drop off old prescriptions at a number of sites around the state.

In Essex County, those sites include:

  • The Essex County Sheriff's Department Patrol Headquarters on Clifton Avenue in Newark.
  • Police Departments in: Bloomfield, Nutley, Montclair, Cedar Grove, West Orange, Maplewood, Livingston, Orange, Caldwell, West Caldwell, Fairfield and Roseland.
  • More dropoff sites are being added and can be found at this DEA website.

The sites are scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

New Jersey's poison experts said prescription medications are one of the leading causes of poison calls in the state - either from children accidentally getting ahold of the medicine or from teenagers or adults abusing the prescription medication.

 In 2011, poison experts in the state answered nearly 66,000 calls for assistance from both the public and health care professionals around the state.  Of these calls, 25,000 involved the ingestion or exposure of one or more medications.

According to the poison control organization, approximately 4,000 calls were related to medications being used in suicide attempts including 800 involved attempts by teenagers. In addition, almost 2,000 calls were related to abuse or misuse of medications.  The remainder of calls involved unintentional ingestions or exposures; the majority of which occurred in children below the age of 5. 

The NJ Poison Information and Education System reminds residents that information about the medicine take-back program, or help about suspected poisonings are available through a hotline number, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Translators are available to help residents who speak other languages.

The hotline number for New Jersey Poison Experts is 1-800-222-1222.

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