Prescription Drug Initiative Goes Statewide [AUDIO]
No matter where you live in New Jersey, there is now a safe and secure spot to dispose of any unused or expired medications that may be lying around your home. The need for such a spot has increased over recent years with the nationwide epidemic of prescription drug abuse.
On Thursday, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced the expansion of "Project Medicine Drop."
"We are quadrupling the size by installing 20 new boxes at law enforcement offices across the state, for a total of 27 drop boxes in our 21 counties," Chiesa said. "Members of the public are invited to drop off their medications seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
Nationwide, according to Chiesa, more than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from friends or relatives. Overdoses related to prescription painkillers now kill more people in the United States than heroin and cocaine combined.
Joining in the fight against abuse at a Paramus press conference was 20-year-old Donovan Allieri, who has spent the past several months recovering from addiction.
His battle started when he broke his thumb during an attempt to gain an athletic scholarship.
"When I got prescribed percocet right out of the hospital, I fell in love with them," Allieri said. "Once the doctor cut me off, I started to hurt really bad."
From there, the Boonton resident started buying painkillers off the streets and elsewhere. Once money ran short, he began stealing from friends and family.
Temporary paralysis and a two-month stay in the hospital sparked a turnaround within Allieri. He was found in his bedroom, blue and convulsing, due to a heroin overdose.
Allieri said he hopes his stance can inspire other users and addicts to seek help.
"Even if I help one sick and suffering addict, that's all I care about," he said.
Project Medicine Drop started in three police departments as a pilot program in November 2011. In 2012, four more agencies joined the effort.
NEW JERSEY DROP SITES
Atlantic County - Atlantic City P.D.
Bergen County - Paramus P.D.
Burlington County - State Police Barracks - Red Lion
Camden County - Cherry Hill P.D.
Cape May County - Lower Township P.D.
Cumberland County - Vineland P.D.
Essex County - Belleville P.D.
Essex County - North Caldwell P.D.
Gloucester County - Mantua P.D.
Hudson County Sheriff - Jersey City
Hunterdon County - Lambertville P.D.
Mercer County - West Windsor P.D.
Middlesex County - East Brunswick P.D.
Monmouth County - Howell P.D.
Monmouth County - Marlboro P.D.
Morris County - State Police Barracks - Netcong
Ocean County - Seaside Heights P.D.
Ocean County - Toms River P.D.
Passaic County - Little Falls P.D.
Salem County - Salem City P.D.
Salem County - State Police Barracks - Woodstown
Somerset County - Hillsborough P.D.
Somerset County Sheriff - Somerville
Sussex County - Newton P.D.
Sussex County - State Police Barracks - Sussex
Union County - Union County P.D.
Warren County - State Police Barracks - Hope
NEW LOCATIONS COMING NEXT YEAR
Burlington County - Burlington Township P.D.
Cape May County - Stone Harbor P.D.
Middlesex County - Perth Amboy P.D.
Ocean County - Lacey P.D.
Sussex County - Sparta Township P.D.
Union County - Elizabeth P.D.
Warren County Sheriff - Belvidere