Project Medicine Drop

Project Medicine Drop

For too many New Jerseyans, addiction begins in the medicine cabinet. 

The East Brunswick Police Department has installed a lockable metal "prescription drug drop boxes," resembling a mailbox, in the hallway outside the police department's front desk. Members of the public are invited to come in and use the box 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to dispose of their unused and expired medications. The drop box accepts solid pharmaceuticals such as pills, capsules, patches, inhalers, and pet medications. The drop box cannot accept syringes or liquids.

The Project Medicine Drop initiative was started by the Attorney General's Office to aide in the fight against the growing opiate and heroine crisis that is gripping the nation. Opiate and heroine abuse often goes hand in hand with the misuse of prescription painkillers. The project is a vital part of the AG's office's effort to put an end to the "diversion and abuse of prescription drugs," which includes highly addictive opiate painkillers such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone and oxycodone.

According to statistics released by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, overdose deaths from heroine, morphine and the powerful, deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl have been steadily rising since 2010, showing a 214% increase. The New Jersey Medical Examiner's office reported that 2015 saw 1,587 overdose deaths. That figure rose from 918 in 2014. Statistics for 2016 were projected to be alarmingly high.

Disposing of unused or expired prescription medicines in the drop boxes is also beneficial to the environment since it keeps the medications out of the water supply and the landfills.

All unused and expired prescription medications as well as pet medications can be placed anonymously in the Project Medicine drop box. Residents should remember to remove personal information such as address labels off of the bottles before dropping them in.

Types of Medication That Can Be Disposed

For safety reasons, the Project Medicine Drop boxes can only accept solid medications such as pills, patches, inhalers, and similar objects.

The boxes cannot accept liquids, medical waste, or syringes. Consumers wishing to dispose of these objects should speak with their doctors or pharmacists to find the safest and best ways to dispose of them.

It should also be noted that consumers may only dispose of legal prescription or over-the-counter medications. Anyone wishing to dispose of any illicit drug, should follow the normal procedure of reporting it to the police.

For more information regarding Project Medicine Drop please visit the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website.