The Fort Lee Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Saturday, offering the residents another chance “to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangers expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.”
Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas O. Ripoli therefore encourages people to bring their medication for disposal to Fort Lee Police Headquarters at 1327 16th St. in Fort Lee on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., where officers from the Community Policing Unit and Evidence Bureau will be on hand.
The service is free—no questions asked, police said.
This is not the first time the DEA is conducting it national “Take Back Initiative.” In fact, it’s proven successful in the past.
The Fort Lee Police Department provided the follow information about the initiative:
Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds—188.5 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds—nearly 500 tons—of pills.
The initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both post potential safety and health hazards.
Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate used” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long-term care facilities to implement the Act, a process that can take as along as 24 month. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like Fort Lee Police and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug Take-back-events every few months.
The DEA’s Take Back initiative in Fort Lee is Saturday (Sept. 29) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fort Lee Police Department located at 1327 16th St.