The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Jersey (NJ) Division Operation Take Back NJ is to provide a safe and legal method for the citizens of New Jersey to dispose their unwanted, unused, and expired medicines.
Each year, experts say, a growing number of teenagers quietly turn to a seemingly unlikely source to score drugs — their parents’ medicine cabinets. According to the most recent studies, Monitoring the Future, University of Michigan, between 1997 and 2007, treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 400 percent.1 In addition, between 2004 and 2008, the number of visits to hospital emergency department involving the non- medical use of narcotic painkillers increased 111 percent.2

DEA NJ Division is launching this initiative on Saturday, September 25, 2010, called "Operation Take Back New Jersey." This program will afford New Jersey residents the opportunity to rid their homes of their unused, unwanted, and expired medicine. Several New Jersey county prescription drug abuse task forces and focus groups have recognized the need for efficient, secure, and environmentally sound methods to collect and dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine.

The goal of the program is to allow the citizens of New Jersey to deliver all of their unused, unwanted, or expired medications to law enforcement officials who can in turn dispose of these controlled substances in a safe and non-hazardous manner, preventing these pills from falling into the hands of juveniles or into the illicit market in our communities.

The program's website, www.operationtakebacknj.com will identify participating police departments, collection sites, and other program information. Prevention and treatment organizations may be contacting their local police departments to lend their support for this initiative.

In 2009's Operation Medicine Cabinet was launch in order to combat the growing problem. More than 400 police departments and other law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey helped collect 9,000 pounds of old, unwanted pills, pain killers, anti-depressants and other medications in an effort to keep teens from looting their parents' medicine cabinets. That’s 4.5 tons of medications. If sold on the street, the drugs would have a value of roughly $35 million. This program — the first of its kind in the nation — invited residents to scour their medicine chests for unused, unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs and drop them off for disposal.

Learn more at: www.operationtakebacknj.com

If you should have any additional questions please contact.

Special Agent Douglas S. Collier, M.A.
 Public Information Officer
 New Jersey Division
 Drug Enforcement Administration
 U.S. Department of Justice
 Phone: 973 776-1143
 Cell: 862 849-9833
 E-mail: douglas.collier@usdoj.gov

  1. Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Highlights- 2007, SAMHSA: National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services
  2. Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), SAMSHA, 2010. Found at https://dawninfo.samshsa.gov