HOWELL – Members of the community participated in this year’s National DEA Drug Take-Back day to properly throw out pounds of unwanted medication.
Just like last year, National DEA Drug Take-Back day was held at the Howell Walmart on October 23. The Howell Alliance collaborated with the Police Department and community members to collect any unused or unwanted medications.
“A lot of Walmart shoppers stopped to ask questions about mental health and substance use resources, both preventive and related to treatment and available services. We always set up an information table at our events for public education and awareness. We had great dialogue with those who stopped by and did notice a definite increase in people wanting to talk about these sensitive topics,” Howell Township Municipal Alliance Coordinator Christa Riddle said.
The goal of Drug Take-Back day is to properly dispose of medications in order to save lives from accidental poisonings, medication misuse/overdoses, and substance use disorders. With the COVID-19 pandemic increasing emotional, mental, social, and financial stress on people, the Howell Alliance wants to remind the community how to properly dispose of medication.
Since the Alliance offers their 24/7 Project Medicine Drop box at police headquarters year-round, the Howell community has collected over 380 pounds of unwanted, unused medications through the 3rd quarter (September 30).
“Beyond the unwanted medications we collected at this year’s DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back, we were very pleased with the number of community members who stopped to share personal and family stories about substance use and mental health disorders. There was definitely an increase in open communication about these sensitive topics, and I think it is due to stigma reduction – Howell Township is a proud member of Monmouth County Stigma-Free,” Riddle said. “People took home literature and asked about support resources available. They also took our unwanted medication disposal bags to drop their unwanted medications at police headquarters at a later time. The Howell Alliance values its partnership with the Howell Police Department and the Howell Walmart to spread awareness while keeping unused medications out of the wrong hands.”
If you would like to dispose of medications anonymously, you can drop them off at the 24/7 Project Medicine Drop box at Howell Police headquarters, 300 Old Tavern Road, or call the Howell Police for at-home police pick-up of unwanted medications (their non-emergency number is 732-938-4111).
For more medication disposal information and substance use/mental health resources, visit the Howell Alliance online.