The Project Medicine Drop box at Manchester Township Police headquarters helped to keep 1,473 pounds of unneeded prescription drugs from potentially falling into the wrong hands in 2014.
In an effort to help combat the growing drug problems in Ocean County, the Manchester Township Police, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs, implemented the drop box location inside the vestibule of its 1 Colonial Drive headquarters in July 2013.
The box—one of the more than 100 throughout the state—is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can accept pills, capsules, patches and pet medications still in their packaging. Unpackaged, loose or leaking containers, as well as syringes and liquids, are not permitted in the box.
“Project Medicine Drop has been a great asset to our community, since every ounce of unneeded prescription medication dropped off means those drugs will not be abused,” said Detective Albert Vega, who serves as the program coordinator in Manchester. “The drop box is convenient and simple to use. We encourage all of our residents to take advantage of the program.”
Deposited medications are collected regularly by police personnel and disposed of under strict supervision by state-authorized firms. Because pill containers may contain patient information, such as names and address, every effort is made to protect the privacy of those who utilize the box.
Prescription drug abuse by teenagers is a growing problem, and much of that supply unwittingly comes from the medicine cabinets of parents, grandparents and friends. Medication abuse can be a gateway to other drug use and crime, including theft. Abusers have been known to steal pills from unsuspecting family members, meaning the unneeded prescriptions left in medicine cabinets can fall into the wrong hands and lead to a dangerous habit.
More information about Project Medicine Drop is available by calling 800-242-5846 or visiting www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/meddrop.