A substance misuse prevention group is partnering with pharmacies in Atlantic County to help educate their customers about how to properly dispose of medications.
Join Together Atlantic County, based in Absecon, is giving pharmacies free Deterra drug deactivation disposal bags, informational rack cards, magnets, stickers and posters that provide information about proper medication disposal, according to a news release from the organization.
Over the past five weeks, members of the group have gone to nearly 55 pharmacies and given out materials, according to the release.
“Prescription and over-the-counter medication misuse has been one of the main contributors to the opioid epidemic, and has led to accidental ingestion, addiction, hospitalization, overdoses and even death,” according to a news release from the organization. “One of the best ways to prevent substance misuse and protect the environment is by disposing of any unused, unwanted and or expired medications in a permanent prescription disposal drop box or with a Deterra drug deactivation disposal bag.”
In 2017, an estimated 18 million people misused medications at least once, according to the coalition, which cited the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Misuse of prescription drugs is highest among young adults ages 18 to 25, with 14.4% reporting nonmedical use in the past year, according to the release. For youth ages 12 to 17, 4.9% reported past-year nonmedical use of prescription medications.
The organization is also offering to purchase a limited number of permanent prescription disposal drop boxes, according to the release.
For more information, visit jtacnj.org or call 609-272-0101, ext. 22.