Acting Attorney General, Installation Commander Unveil "Project Medicine Drop" Box at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey's First at a Military Installation
JOINT BASE McGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman today joined with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Commander Col. James C. Hodges to announce the installation of New Jersey’s “Project Medicine Drop” box at the Joint Base, the first Project Medicine Drop box to be installed at one of New Jersey’s military installations.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman said, “We are proud to bring Project Medicine Drop to the personnel and families of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and to expand the reach of this component in our fight against opiate abuse.”
“This partnership is a prime example of how Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is working with our community partners to innovatively provide services to our personnel and their families,' said Col. James Hodges, Joint Base Commander. “Joint Base MDL members will have a safe and secure location to properly dispose of unused and expired medications throughout the year.'
The Project Medicine Drop box is installed at the 87th Security Forces Squadron, the equivalent of a police department for the approximately 38,000 individuals who live and work on the Joint Base.
The box will enable Joint Base personnel and their families to take an active role in the fight against the nationwide epidemic of opiate and heroin abuse, which often is fueled by the abuse of prescription painkillers. Individuals on the Joint Base may visit the Security Forces Squadron at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to dispose of their unused or excess medications.
Project Medicine Drop is an initiative of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, within the Office of the Attorney General. The Division of Consumer Affairs installs secure “prescription drug drop boxes” at law enforcement agencies (usually police departments, sheriff’s offices, and State Police barracks) across New Jersey, allowing citizens to safely dispose of their unused, excess, or expired prescription medications.
To date, the Division has installed 126 Project Medicine Drop boxes across New Jersey. Since the program’s launch in November 2011, New Jerseyans have disposed of more than 43,616 pounds, or 28.1 tons, of unused medications through this initiative. More than half of that total was dropped off during 2014 alone – indicating that the public’s use of Project Medicine Drop has expanded along with the number of available boxes statewide.
By giving New Jerseyans a safe and secure method to dispose of unneeded medications, Project Medicine Drop helps prevent the abuse of these drugs. This initiative also protects New Jersey’s environment by keeping these drugs out of landfills and out of the water supply.
New Jerseyans can find the statewide map of all 126Project Medicine Drop boxes at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/meddrop.The Division of Consumer Affairs plans to install additional Project Medicine Drop boxes at participating agencies in the near future.
The expansion of Project Medicine Drop is the latest in the Attorney General’s and Division of Consumer Affairs’ comprehensive strategy to fight the diversion and abuse of opiates.
Other elements include, but are not limited to:
- The creation of the Pain Management Council, an advisory body that will help the Division of Consumer Affairs develop best practice recommendations for New Jersey’s healthcare professionals. The goal is to create voluntary guidelines that will enable prescribers to provide pain management, while maintaining effective controls to prevent drug diversion and abuse.
- The expansion of the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP), to include direct data-sharing with the PMPs maintained by the States of Connecticut and Delaware, and efforts to build a similar data-sharing partnership with New York State. To date, approximately 41 percent of New Jersey’s eligible prescribers and pharmacists are registered as users of the NJPMP. This statewide database tracks the prescription sale of all drugs classified as Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) or Human Growth Hormone into New Jersey.
- New, mandatory security requirements for New Jersey prescription blanks. Prescribers will be required to exclusively use the new prescription blanks as of November 3, 2014.
- The Division’s May 2013 adoption of a fully modern set of Best Practices for Pharmacy Security as recommendations for voluntary compliance by New Jersey’s pharmacies. The Division developed the Best Practices for Pharmacy Security after bringing pharmacy industry, regulatory, and law enforcement groups together for two Pharmacy Security Summit meetings in 2012.
In 2013, New Jersey saw nearly 6,700 admissions to State-licensed or certified substance abuse treatment programs due to prescription drug abuse, an increase of nearly 300 percent over the past decade. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 6.8 million Americans currently abuse pharmaceutical controlled substances – almost twice as much as the combined number of those who use cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and/or inhalants.
Nearly 110 Americans die every day from drug-related overdoses, and about half of those overdoses are related to opioids, a class of drug that includes prescription painkillers and heroin.
For more information on the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs' initiative to halt the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, view the Division's NJPMP website, and the Division's Project Medicine Drop website.