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East Windsor residents rid medicine cabinets of unneeded drugs

East Windsor Township residents rummaged through their medicine cabinets and turned in nearly 78 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs during the annual “Operation Medicine Cabinet” program.

The amount of drugs collected at the event, which lasted for four hours on April 28, was more than double the amount collected last year. In 2017, the township collected 35 pounds of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.

Residents dropped off their unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications at a drop box in the lobby of the East Windsor Township Police/Municipal Court building on One Mile Road.

“Operation Medicine Cabinet,” which is conducted by the New Jersey Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), seeks to get the medicine out of residents’ homes and into the hands of federal officials by offering the one-day program.

“This program provides an opportunity to securely dispose of unwanted, unused and expired medications in an environmentally responsible manner and prevents possible misuse and access to those drugs by unauthorized persons and young people,” Mayor Janice S. Mironov said.

The 77.4 pounds of drugs collected on April 28 were turned over to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the DEA. The agency destroyed the drugs on April 30.

While “Operation Medicine Cabinet” is helpful and has been successful, Mironov said it is not the only chance for residents to dispose of unused or unwanted drugs.

East Windsor residents can drop off unneeded, unused or expired drugs in the drop box, which has been permanently installed in the lobby at the Police/Municipal Court building, every day of the year, she said.

The goal of installing the drop box is to make it convenient for residents, so they will not have to rely on once-a-year events such as “Operation Medicine Cabinet” to dispose of drugs, Mironov said, adding that residents should make use of the drop box.

The drugs that were collected in East Windsor and turned over to the prosecutor’s office and the DEA were part of the more than 300 pounds of drugs that were collected on April 28, Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler said.

In addition to expired or unneeded blood pressure, heart and cholesterol medications, dangerous opiate painkillers such as Oxycodone, Vicodin and Percocet were turned in for safe disposal, Kemler said.

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