Monmouth County Announces Year-Round Medicine Drop Box
Law enforcement officials are hoping that the proper disposal of unwanted and expired prescription drugs around the house will help slow the soaring drug addiction rate among youth.
During a press conference Tuesday, the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office announced that their headquarters is the newest year-round drop off site for prescription drugs.
Sheriff Shawn Golden says "You can't miss it. It's in our main lobby. You can come in front of the rear door of the main lobby from 8 to 6. We even have an after hours doorbell that they ring and we'll have somebody open it up for you...again, no questions asked."
During the press conference, Laura DeSimone of Brick Township spoke about her four-year addiction to heroin. She says it began when a friend gave her Oxycontin that was taken from her mother's medicine cabinet. "She told me that it would just kind of numb everything that I was going through. You don't realize how quick you can become addicted to it."
However, she said at $25 to $30 dollars a pill, getting the drugs became too expensive. "but then you run into somebody that's got heroin, ten dollars, and then you just start using that because it's a lot cheaper."
DeSimone spoke about the very painful years that followed with a boyfriend who died from a drug overdose and her near-death from an overdose.
Sheriff Golden says they set up the year-round drop box in partnership with Prevention First. He says they had to apply to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to begin the year-round program, promising to meet certain criteria. "The box is bolted down, can't be removed. It's locked so that nobody can get at the medications and we have a disposal method much like the chain of evidence that officers use."
Golden says "if we can get one in every community and every pharmacy around the county, around the state and around the country, that would be the goal."
Doctors from the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune who attended the press conference urged parents to become more aware of the drugs in their households.
The Sheriff's Office is participating in the DEA's "Operation Take Back New Jersey" this Saturday September 29th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.