ABSECON — Join Together Atlantic County, a substance misuse prevention coalition, announced that through their permanent medication drop box initiative they have collected 2,562 pounds of unwanted, unused and/or expired medications in 2020. Nearly, 13,000 pounds were collected since 2016 when they began placing the drop boxes in participating police departments and pharmacies throughout Atlantic County.
JTAC is responsible for placing 15 out of the 25 drop boxes in Atlantic County with the newest location inside of Bellevue Drug Company at 254 Bellevue Ave., Hammonton. The drop box will be available during normal business hours. Bellevue Drug Company’s pharmacist, Jigar Patel, said with the installation of this new drop box they hope to provide a safe place for the community to dispose of unwanted medication and further facilitate a larger conversation around safe drug disposal.
According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often times from the homes medicine cabinet. The permanent medication drop boxes and the awareness campaigns surrounding them are an important part of reducing the misuse of prescription medication. Cleaning out medicine cabinets and properly disposing of them will reduce the number of prescriptions available which may lead to accidental poisoning, substance misuse and improper disposal harming the environment.
Each drop box location is monitored by surveillance cameras and has proper documentation from the DEA. The purpose of the medication drop box is for residents to have a safe and secure way to dispose of any unwanted, unused or expired medications. Most drop box locations are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, however some locations are only available during certain business hours. For locations and times, see JTACNJ.org.
JTAC would like to thank the participating police departments and pharmacies for their commitment with helping to prevent substance misuse, without their participation this initiative would not be possible. The prescription drop boxes were purchased with funds through federal and state grants. For more information about JTAC, see jtacnj.org or call 609-272-0101 ext. 22.
JTAC challenges you to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
• Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
• Secure your medicine chest.
• Properly dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine.
• Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.