On November 14, New Jersey residents have the opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets of unwanted and/or expired medication through the OperationMedicineCabinetNJ.com program from 10 am to 2 pm. According to the program,
“Every day 2,500 youth age 12 to 17 abuse a pain reliever for the very first time. More teens abuse prescription drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana. In 2006, more than 2.1 million teens ages 12 to 17 reported abusing prescription drugs. Among 12- and 13-year-olds, prescription drugs are the drug of choice.
Because these drugs are so readily available, and many teens believe they are a safe way to get high, teens who wouldn’t otherwise touch illicit drugs might abuse prescription drugs. And not many parents are talking to them about it, even though teens report that parental disapproval is a powerful way to keep them away from drugs.”
In addition, many people throw out their expired prescription or throw them down the toliets. These drugs could end up in illicit hands or into our waterways. On the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s website, a 20o2 US Geological study revealed that 80 percent of US streams contain small amount of medications. Moreover, an Associated Press Investigation found trace amounts of such drugs as antibodics, anti-convulsants, mood stablizers and sex hormones in the drinking water of 41 million Americans.
For more information, as to where to drop off your prescriptions, see here. (Just click on your county to find out the closest participating town.) I would love to see these drop-offs become permanent instead of only this one time.
If your state has a similar program or you are aware of pharmacies or hospitals that take back medicine, please list it in the comments below for everyone to see.
Just a side note, I just received an email late tonight from Community Green letting me know about this program. Neither my children’s high school or middle school where kids are at risk, sent an email about this program. Did your school?