New Jersey is launching a pilot program that allows consumers to drop off unused medications in secure  locations. The idea is to combat prescription drug abuse, Attorney General Paula Dow says Project Medicine Drop will feature mailbox-like drop boxes in police departments in Little Falls, Vineland and Seaside Heights.

The boxes will be available to the public seven days a week and only accept legal medications. Health officials call prescription drug abuse "the silent epidemic." The Centers for Disease Control says prescription drug abuse now accounts for more drug overdoses than cocaine and heroin combined.

Officials hope to expand the project to all New Jersey counties. It's part of a multi-pronged effort to stem prescription drug abuses in New Jersey and nationwide.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)