Record number of unused pills collected in Ocean County’s Project Medicine Drop
Getting ready for some spring cleaning? So is the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office - which broke its own tonnage record for unused and outdated medications destroyed through Project Medicine Drop.
Residents who brought their unwanted meds to Project Medicine Drop boxes around the county since October 26 contributed to the total of 3,280 pounds that were burned March 1, according to County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
That's a ton and a half of opiates and narcotics that aren't reaching the hands of thieves, street peddlers, or children, and won't contribute to the risk of overdoses. The previous record, 2,960 pounds, was recorded between April and July, 2016.
Authorities calculate that since the program's Summer 2014 inception, 22,380 pounds of pills - just over 11 tons - have gone up in smoke. The drugs were burned at Covanta Union in Rahway.
"There is no question that unused medications many times end up in the wrong hands and are used illegally," Coronato said in prepared comments. " In the worst case scenarios these forgotten pain killing medications lead to addiction or teens becoming unwitting drug dealers".
Coronato and Sheriff Mike Mastronardy will be among a panel of experts in WOBM's candid, open, public dialogue about progress in the heroin war, March 20 in the Grunin Center at Ocean County College in Toms River.
Fifteen of Ocean County's 33 communities house Project Medicine Drop boxes at police department entrances. Enter the highlighted link to find the closest to your house.
Showing some brawn in tossing the crates of meds were Lieutenant Cindy Boyd and Detective Steve Shadiack of the Prosecutor's Office, and interns Eva Vastardis and Erika Pettersen. Vastardis is an alumna of Stockton University in Galloway, and Pettersen attends Georgian Court University in Lakewood.
The rumor around the Prosecutor's Office is that the interns capped their night with a celebration, while Shaddiack nestled down with some back salve.