The City of Newark Police Department (NPD) is once again partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host a prescription drug take-back event on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, which helps prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and non-prescription drugs, will take place in the City municipal building at 220 S. Main Street. Residents are encouraged to bring any pills, patches, creams or liquid products in their containers; however, sharpies and needles will not be accepted. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
"We are committed to helping keep our residents safe and healthy and this event is a great opportunity to support those efforts," said City Manager Carol Houck. "The feedback we receive is overwhelmingly positive and the collaboration between our police department and the DEA strengthens every year. I am grateful we are able to provide such a valuable resource and opportunity to the public we serve." At the April 2016 take back event, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Last year alone, Newark collected more than 1,800 pounds for destruction during events in the spring and fall.
"Removing unwanted prescription drugs from our community is an important public safety measure and we're committed to helping the DEA in this endeavor," said Chief Paul Tiernan. "The amount of medication we are able to collect underscores the value of participating in these events."
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards.
In addition to the two drug take-back events Newark hosts each year, prescription drugs can also be deposited in a red container located at the City municipal building in the Police department lobby, year-round.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 29 Take Back Day event, please visit the DEA Diversion website.