Prescription Drug Disposal Event PDF Print E-mail

Newark – Because the abuse of prescription drugs, including painkillers, now ranks second behind marijuana as our nation’s most prevalent drug problem, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office hosted a media event to promote this Saturday’s “Operation: American Medicine Chest” initiative.

The initiative, sponsored by the New Jersey Sheriffs Association and the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, is designed to provide a safe way to dispose of unneeded and expired prescription medicines.

“We are seeing more and more prescription drugs for sale on our streets,” noted Sheriff Armando Fontoura. “During the past 15 months, detectives from our Bureau of Narcotics have seized 44,000 doses of illegal prescription drugs.”

Abuse of prescription drugs has become increasingly prevalent among teenagers.

“Youngsters can easily access these drugs in the comfort and privacy of their homes,” Sheriff Fontoura pointed out. “Teens are raiding the medicine chest at home and at the homes of relatives and friends.”

The most common type of prescription drugs our children experiment with are opioids, such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet. On the street, these drugs are known as “hillbilly heroin” and they have much the same effect as the real thing.

Sheriff Fontoura recommends that parents and guardians monitor, secure and properly dispose of all prescription medicines.

“Operation: American Medicine Chest” will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 13th. There are more than 100 disposal centers throughout New Jersey.

Essex County collection centers are:

the Essex County Sheriff’s Patrol HQ, located at 115 Clifton Avenue, Newark;

the Fairfield Police HQ, located at 230 Fairfield Road, Fairfield;

the Belleville Police HQ, located at 152 Washington Avenue, Belleville;

the Nutley Police HQ, located at 228 Chestnut Street, Nutley;

and, the Orange Police HQ, located at 29 Park Street, Orange.

All prescription medicines may be dropped of anonymously. For more information about “Operation: American Medicine Chest” can be found at or by calling 877-919-2622.