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Consortium Gathering Unused Medications in Somerset County

In an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse, the Somerset County Department of Human Services, through funding by the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA), is collaborating with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, EmPoWER Somerset and Safe Communities Coalition.

Multiple dates have been arranged to collect expired and unused prescription drugs from various groups of seniors throughout the county with the cooperation with the Office on Aging and Disability Services. The Sheriff’s Office will collect the unused prescriptions and return them to the Sheriff’s collection box for destruction. In addition, the Somerset County Retired Nurses Society and Single Senior Women’s Group will present skits about the harmful effects of prescription medication abuse.

Following are the dates, times and locations:

June 13 at 3 p.m. Somerville Senior Housing, 1 Mountain Avenue , Somerville , NJ

July 8 at 10:30 a.m. Warrenbrook Senior Center, 500 Warrenville Road , Warren , NJ

July 11 at 10 a.m. Quail Brook Senior Center, 625 New Brunswick Road , Somerset , NJ

July 11 at 1 p.m. Presbyterian Homes, 1 Bob Franks Way #126 , Somerset , NJ

July 16 at 12:15 p.m. Bridgewater Senior Center, 455 Somerville Road , Bridgewater , NJ

August 6 at 11 a.m. North Plainfield Senior Club, 614 Greenbrook Road , North Plainfield , NJ

According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and inhalants combined. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.

The agencies’ goal is to create safe and healthy communities by eliminating prescription drug use through widespread community collaboration, environmental change and community education. For more information, contact Brenda Pateman, Somerset Alcohol & Drug Coordinator, at 908-704-6309 or pateman@co.somerset.nj.us or Elizabeth Savage, Somerset County Municipal Alliance Coordinator, at 908-704-6300 or savage@co.somerset.nj.us