Camden, N.J. – The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is spreading the word about the Drug Enforcement Administration’s new campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 25 was originally set as the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day for spring, but in light of social distancing measures, the DEA has postponed the event and launched a new Secure Your Meds campaign.
“Because people aren’t being encouraged to go out unless absolutely necessary, the Secure Your Meds campaign is a great way to simultaneously educate families about the dangers of having unwanted, expired prescription medication in your home and how to safely secure it,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “Prescription drug abuse often starts in the home, so taking small steps to secure these pills can have a big impact.”
Two-thirds of teenagers and young adults who report prescription drug abuse say they got it from a family member, friend, or acquaintance, according to DrugFree.org. One way to ensure your old medications don’t go missing is to keep inventory; a small log of what medicines are in the home and how many pills are in each bottle is an easy way to determine if something is missing.
If you have expired or unwanted medications, detectives said it’s important not to flush them, as they could impact wastewater. Instead, investigators said to secure prescriptions in a lockbox, safe or locked area of the home until you can safely dispose of them during a future Take Back Day.
Once the stay-at-home order is lifted, you can also drop unused medications off at the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office located at 200 Federal Street in Camden.
In addition to securing medications, use this time together to educate your children or teenagers about the dangers of prescription pill use. For more information and resources, visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/.