The Union County Prosecutor’s Office
32 Rahway Avenue   Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Theodore J. Romankow
Prosecutor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2010

Contact: John Holl
(908) 527-4621 jholl@ucnj.org

 

Union County to Participate in “Operation Take Back New Jersey”

DOWNLOAD POSTER

Elizabeth, N.J.— The Union County Prosecutor’s Office, will be hosting an Operation Take Back New Jersey local collection site as part of the Operation Take Back NJ medicine disposal day.  The event will take place at 32 Rahway Avenue in Elizabeth, N.J. between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, 2010.  This initiative, open to all residents, was organized to encourage local community residents to properly dispose of their unused, unwanted and expired medicine, announced Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

This statewide effort, with the majority of New Jersey police departments participating, is being spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Division, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, the NY/NJ HIDTA, and the New Jersey National Guard.  Union County residents looking for information on the program and local collection sites should visit www.operationtakebacknj.com.

John G. McCabe, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA New Jersey Division stated, “Last year New Jersey opened its medicine cabinets and we collected over 9,000 pounds of medicine that was unwanted.  This year, we are very excited about the continued support brought on by Operation Take Back New Jersey, and we hope all citizens will take time to eliminate any and all medicines that are not suitable for proper medical use.  The more public attention we bring to this issue, the more we trust that people will become educated on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”

According to McCabe and Prosecutor Romankow, the most recent studies by Monitoring the Future, University of Michigan, between 1997 and 2007, stated that treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 400 percent (1).  In addition, between 2004 and 2008, the number of visits to hospital emergency departments involving the non-medical use of narcotic painkillers increased 111 percent (2).  The proper disposal of unwanted medication will help reduce the potential for pharmaceutical diversion.

 

(1) Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Highlights- 2007, SAMHSA: National Admissions to Substance
   Abuse Treatment Services
(2) Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), SAMHSA, 2010.  Found at https://dawninfo.samhsa.gov