A biannual unwanted prescription drug drop-off program will happen again late this month. With opioid abuse at an all time high, the program has taken on added importance.

"National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day" will be held at locations all over New Jersey on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Timothy McMahon of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency said the idea started here in 2009, "and because of the success of that, DEA started it as a national program."

"Basically, what it is, is twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, an opportunity for residents to clean out their medicine cabinets, to get rid of their unwanted, unused or expired prescription medications, to get them out of the house," he said. "With the prescription/opoid epidemic that we have going on today, one of the easiest places to get their hands on it is right in their own homes, in the medicine cabinet."

Among the many problems that these semi-annual drop offs deter is a trick drug scammers have invented. According to Agent McMahon, "we have heard problems with real estate agents with open houses, people going from open house to open house for the sole purpose of looking through the house to try and get their hands on prescriptions."

McMahon said at the last statewide drop-off last October, more than 12,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected.

For information about where you can drop off your unwanted prescriptions, see dea.gov.

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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