STAFFORD TOWNSHIP – Ocean County residents are encouraged to participate in the County’s second “Ocean County Prescription Take-Back Day” on August 1 at the Ocean County Southern Service Center, 179 South Main Street.
The program runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The guest speaker will be Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato, along with several other experts in the field dealing with the opioid crisis, who will provide valuable information, as well as a question and answer session. There will also be health screenings, information tables and refreshments.
“The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is making every effort to prevent pill abuse and theft by not just encouraging residents to get rid of old medications but also by providing a means to properly purge their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P, Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. “Prosecutor Coronato is making an effort to reach out to all Ocean County residents by raising awareness and educating them on the hazards of unused and outdated medications.”
Ocean County residents are being encouraged to look through their medicine cabinets and properly dispose of all outdated and unused medications by bringing them to the Southern Service Center on August 1.
“There are very serious health risks in taking prescription drugs,” Coronato said. “They need to be taken only under the care of a doctor and even then they have to be closely monitored to avoid addiction or other problems.”
Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, Chairman of Senior Services, encouraged seniors in particular to attend the August 1 program to learn more about ridding their homes of potential hazards caused by old and unused prescriptions.
“Our seniors are often prescribed different medications for various illnesses,” Vicari said. “Having the right information on what to do with those medications once they have expired really can help during this critical time as we continue to address the opioid crisis.”
The Prescription Take-Back Initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.
For instance, if you flush prescription drugs or other medicines down the toilet or throw them in the trash, they pose a potential safety and health hazard to local waterways.
“The intent of this program is to not only protect the environment, but also to protect our society from improper use and distribution of prescription drugs,” Vicari said.
Coronato noted that medicines that are left or forgotten in our home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Various studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“We encourage people to look through their medicine cabinets and properly dispose of all outdated and unused medications, to bring your pills for disposal to the Ocean County Southern Service Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 1,” Coronato said.
“This is a great event to come out to and bring your friends and neighbors,” Vicari said. “You can properly dispose of old medications, participate in health screenings by the Ocean County Health Department and get information on a host of topics.”
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has already collected a total of 22,380 pounds of various prescription/drugs that have been destroyed between October 3, 2014 and March 1, 2017. The Prescription Take Back Day also complements the ongoing programs run by many local police departments in Ocean County that are hosting medication drop off boxes.
For further information, please contact the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027 or your local Police Department.
“The effort to reduce and eventually eliminate the current opioid crisis is ongoing and widespread,” said Freeholder Kelly. “We encourage everyone to get involved. Even the simplest of steps can help make a difference.”