HUNTERDON Hospice Recognized for Partnership to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse



Hunterdon Hospice was recognized for their partnership with the Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon/Somerset in the common goal of reducing prescription drug abuse in Hunterdon County by implementing prescription lock boxes. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 3 million U.S. teens abuse prescription drugs, and every day, more than 3,300 more begin experimenting with prescription drugs.  Margaret Doyle, Hunterdon Hospice Director, stated “Hunterdon Hospice appreciates the valuable resource the Coalition has become to the community we both serve.”

Caption:  Hunterdon Hospice was recognized for their partnership with the Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon/Somerset

in the common goal of reducing prescription drug abuse in Hunterdon County by implementing prescription lock boxes.


The Safe Communities Coalition and Hunterdon Hospice are urging you to lock up your medications. State leaders have been identifying prescription drug abuse as a nationwide epidemic. Community members, especially teenagers, are taking advantage of easy access and are becoming addicted to prescription drugs, which often leads to heroin addiction.  SAMHSA states that about 70% of people who abuse prescription drugs admit to getting them from friends or family. This is a call to action to lock up your prescription drugs before they get into the wrong hands.


Prescription Lock Boxes come with a single or double combination lock(s) to safeguard medications. Boxes come in three sizes (small, medium, and large) and can be ordered online easily. According to MedSafe, 92% of unintentional overdoses happen in the home. Lock Boxes are recommended especially if you have children in the house as this reduces the risk for abuse. Ask your local pharmacist or doctor for recommendations on which box would be the best fit for you and your medications.


“Too many controlled substances are falling into young kids’ hands, as there is a higher access to get controlled substances from parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets,” says Nancy Scanlon, Pharm D, RPIC, Lead Pharmacist at the Hunterdon Regional Community Health Pharmacy (a sister corporation of the Hunterdon Medical Center). “Prescription drug drop boxes keep the community, especially children, animals, and the environment, safe from harmful drugs. This partnership with the Safe Communities Coalition not only helps to keep our community safe, but will build a safer future for the generations to come. It is a privilege to be part of such an amazing initiative.”


Other ways to keep medications safe in the home are to dispose of unwanted, unused, and expired medications in a permanent Prescription Drop Box.  Sheriff Fred Brown, Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office stated, “One of the easiest ways to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs is to properly dispose of unused or not needed prescription drugs in one of our prescription collection sites.” Prescription Drop Boxes are located in 12 locations between Hunterdon and Somerset County. For a specific location visit:



The goal of the Safe Communities Coalition is to live in a safe and healthy community by eliminating drug use, underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.  Through wide-spread community collaboration, environmental change, and community education in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, the Safe Communities Coalition will address areas of concern including, but not limited to, reducing Rx drug abuse across the lifespan, underage drinking, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, and other drug use.  For more information on the Coalition, visit our website or follow us on Facebook at @HSCoKnowINFO or Instagram at safe_communities.


Hunterdon Prevention Resources supports the health and wellness of individuals, families, and the communities we serve by providing education, counseling, advocacy for policies, and collaboration necessary to keep our communities healthy and drug free.   For confidential help or for services or programs, contact us at 908-782-3909.  For more information on the organization, visit us online at Also, Like us on Facebook at



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