The Roselle Park Police Department (RPPD) is one of the newest locations to take part in Project Medicine Drop. With the dropbox having been installed earlier in the month, Roselle Park becomes the sixth municipality in Union County to participate year-round in the program with a permanent dropbox.The Statewide initiative is an effort to halt the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs and allows for people to dispose of their unused and expired medications anonymously, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
According to the program’s website, RPPD will maintain custody of the deposited drugs and dispose of them according to their normal procedures for the custody and destruction of controlled dangerous substances (CDS). A report only of the number of drugs collected will be reported from RPPD to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) every three months.
People who drop off any drugs will not need to fill out nor provide any information and can remain anonymous. They can simply enter the lobby of police headquarters and dispose of the prescriptions in the Project Medicine dropbox without interacting with anyone inside the police station.
Pharmaceutical pills, capsules, patches, and even pet medications are accepted in the dropbox. Syringes and liquids are not to be deposited.
The DCA has gathered the following statistics to inform the public on the dangers of prescription drug abuse:
- Every day, 40 Americans die from an overdose caused by prescription painkiller abuse, according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control. Overdoses of opioid prescription drugs now kill more people in the U.S. than heroin and cocaine combined.
- Two in five teenagers mistakenly believe prescription drugs are “much safer” than illegal drugs, according to the DEA, and three in 10 teens mistakenly believe prescription painkillers are not addictive.
- In the United States, every day 2,500 youths take a prescription pain reliever for the purpose of getting high for the very first time, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
- The US Drug Enforcement Administration reports that prescription drugs, including opioids and antidepressants, are responsible for more overdose deaths than “street drugs” such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.
- The number of American teenagers and adults who abuse prescription drugs is greater than those who use cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, compiled by the US Department of Health and Senior Services.
- In June 2011, the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation reported that a growing number of young people are abusing prescription drugs, and noted a significant trend in which the practice has led to increases, not only in the number of young people addicted to painkillers, but to the number of young people using heroin as well.
The box is accessible at all times of the day in the police station lobby located at the rear of 110 East Westfield Avenue.