Those wishing to dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medications in the Woodbury Heights area now have a new disposal site at the Woodbury Heights Police Department. The Gloucester Regional Addictive Substances Prevention (GRASP) coalition awarded the department with an American Medicine Chest Challenge permanent prescription drop box as a partner in curbing prescription drug abuse. The box is located inside the Woodbury Heights Police Department at 500 Elm Ave, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097. It will be available to the public during normal business hours or when a police officer is present at the station. For additional information, residents may contact the police department at 856-848-6707 or visit www.whpdnj.com for additional information.
Woodbury Heights Acting Police Chief Joshua Moline worked with Candice Carter and Tara Clay of the GRASP Coalition, to provide the prescription drop box to the Woodbury Heights community. When asked what motivated them to obtain a prescription drop box, Acting Police Chief Joshua Moline stated, “The drug box is part of an effort to reduce access to prescription drugs for teenagers. Unused and out-of-date medicines are also dangerous because of the chance of theft and misuse. Additionally, flushing medications down the sink or toilet can contaminate the water supply."
With the installation of this drop box, the department adds an additional resource to the fight against drug abuse and especially the opiate crisis. The department invites residents, businesses, and other partners in the community program to use the drop box to prevent dangerous medications from falling into the hands of children or people suffering from addiction.
Woodbury Heights Police Department and the GRASP coalition challenges families to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
- Account - Take inventory of your prescription and over-the counter medicine.
- Secure - your medicine chest and prescription drugs.
- Dispose - of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site.
- Take - your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
- Talk - to the children in your life about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Permanent drop boxes and the awareness campaigns surrounding them are an important part of reducing the abuse of prescription medication. When left around the house, unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to abuse, environmental harm and accidental poisoning. 2 in 5 teenagers believe prescription drugs are “much safer” than illegal drugs. Every day in the U.S. an estimated 2,500 youth take a prescription pain reliever for the purpose of getting high for the first time. The abuse of prescription pain killers is the leading cause of heroin abuse. Unused drugs that are flushed can also contaminate the water supply, thus proper disposal of prescription drugs does duel duty of saving lives and protecting the environment.
The prescription drop box was purchased by the GRASP coalition, a substance abuse prevention coalition. For more information about GRASP and how to get involved, please visit southwestcouncil.org/GRASP or call 856-494-4950.