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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 6, 2009

Contact:            Det. Marylouise Dranchak, West Windsor Police, 609-799-1222
Angela Conover, PDFNJ, 973-467-2100, ext. 25 conover@drugfreenj.org
Douglas Collier, DEA-NJ, 973-776-1143 dscollier@dea-nj.gov

West Windsor Township Police Department to Participate in First Statewide Medicine Disposal Day in the Nation

West Windsor Township Police Department, will be hosting an Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey local collection site as part of the first statewide medicine disposal day in the nation. The event will take place at West Windsor Twp Police Dept. Headquarters, 20 Municipal Drive, Princeton Junction, NJ between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m on Saturday, November 14, 2009. This initiative, open to all residents, was organized to encourage local community residents properly dispose of their unused, unwanted and expired medicine.

This statewide effort, with over 400 participating New Jersey police departments, is being spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division (DEA), the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ). West Windsor Township residents looking for information on the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and local collection location information should visit www.operationmedicinecabinetnj.com.  

Gerard P. McAleer,  the Special Agent-in-Charge of the DEA stated, “We are very excited about the wide spread support and enthusiasm Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey is gaining in our coordinated efforts to bring public attention to this issue that is impacting our youth, our families, and our communities. Law enforcement is concerned with the alarming trend in the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, with potential access to these drugs coming from the medicine cabinets of family and friends.”

"This operation will reduce the availability of potent drugs that lead kids down a path to addiction,'' New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram said.  "We can't break a cycle of dependence if powerful prescription drugs are stashed in our own homes, tucked away in drawers and cabinets."

“With Operation Medicine Cabinet, we are calling on New Jersey residents to see their medicine cabinets through new eyes -- as an access point for potential misuse and abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicine by young people,” explained Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ.

According to McAleer and Valente, the 2007 study by the National Study of Drug-Use and Health, 70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), reports that upwards of 9 million people use prescription medication for non-medical uses. They noted that the 2007 Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) Principals Survey found that half of the principals surveyed said that prescription drugs are abused more than twice that of ecstasy and cocaine by New Jersey Middle School students.

“What is equally disturbing, is that 47% of New Jersey parents of Middle School Students said they know a little or just about nothing about prescription drug abuse, according to the 2009 PDFNJ Parents Tracking Survey,” explained Valente.

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