N.J. collecting expired prescription drugs

The American Medicine Chest Challenge will take place in New Jersey Saturday as officials urge residents of the Garden State to properly dispose of unwanted prescription medicines.

Police departments around the state are partnering with program to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. They will accept the drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano, the president of the Sheriff’s Association of New Jersey, said the drugs in home medicine cabinets can end up being abused by children.

“Little Johnnie and Mary go over to grandma’s house to go visit, and they say they have to go use the bathroom. What’s in the bathroom? It’s a medicine chest so they start to explore,” he said. “This way we’re keeping the medicine out of the hands of these young kids.”

Flushing unwanted medications down the drain can pollute water supplies, Provenzano said.

More than two tons of unused and expired meds were collected when the program was held last year.

The drugs will be turned over to the National Guard and incinerated.

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