HUNTERDON COUNTY DEA NATIONAL TAKE-BACK DAY TOPS THE SCALES AT 1,113 POUNDS

Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III, Chief of Detectives John J. Kuczynski Hunterdon County Sheriff Fred Brown and Safe Communities Coalition Project Director Lesley Gabel have announced the results from a joint initiative known as National Take Back Day. Started in September 2010 the United States Drug Enforcement Administration created the framework for a permanent solution for prescription drug disposal. At the time there were no legal means to transfer possession of certain prescription drugs for disposal. Until such time as permanent regulations are in place, the DEA, in partnership with state and local law enforcement, community partners LOADED VAN: Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office Chief Kuczynski and Undersheriff Frank Della-Serra and the public, continue to hold a one-day take-back program.

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Between the last Take-Back Day, September 29, 2015 and April 30, 2016, a total of 1,113 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs have been collected. Citizens were able to visit one of the eight drop box sites throughout the County to dispose of their unwanted prescriptions. The contents of the Take-Back boxes were then delivered to the Hunterdon County Justice Complex on April 30, 2016 where they were turned over to DEA officials. Kearns stated, “Sheriff Fred Brown retrieved 45 pounds of unwanted prescription medication during a recent take back set up by the Social Concerns Committee at The Church of Saint Ann in Hampton, New Jersey.” Kearns added that, “It is important to note that it is not only human, prescription medication that can be disposed of in the drop boxes. Over-the-counter and prescription medications for both humans and animals are now the leading cause of poisoning in our pets. Neither septic tank systems nor municipal sewage and water treatment facilities can eliminate all pharmaceutical contamination poured down drains or flushed down toilets. Animal prescription medication can be disposed of in the drop boxes throughout the county as well.” Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III: “We know the misuse and abuse of prescription medication has helped fuel the heroin epidemic. It is important to dispose of unused prescription medication in an effort to curb this epidemic.” Hunterdon County Chief of Detectives, John J. Kuczynski: “No medication should be taken other than as prescribed, or by anyone other than who it was prescribed for.” “I would like to thank those that were able to dispose of their expired or unused prescription medication during the national DEA take back event,” said Lesley Gabel, Co-Executive Director of Hunterdon Prevention Resources. “By doing so, we cut down on the availability and access to these potentially dangerous drugs. Studies have shown that 70% of teens start abusing prescription drugs right out of their home medicine cabinets. We encourage everyone throughout the year to visit one of our eight permanent prescription drop off boxes.” For a listing of all eight drop box locations, visit the Coalition website at http://safecoalition.org/013-07-09-rx-disposal