Howell residents have opportunity to turn in prescription medications

Staff Writer

HOWELL — With prescription drug use on the rise in the United States, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has created the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative.

As part of the initiative, a day is set aside and people are asked to look into their medicine cabinets and to dispose of any unused or expired drugs in a safe and convenient manner.

According to the DEA, any form of opiate pain reliever carries a certain risk when kept at home. An increase in prescription drug abuse has caused numerous deaths over the past 10 years. Family members or people in a home who have access to pain relievers may eventually end up abusing the drugs, according to the agency.

The National Prescription Drug Take- Back Initiative is coming to Howell from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 26. The location where people may turn in prescription drugs will be the first floor of the municipal building, Route 9 north.

The drug take-back initiative is supported by the Howell Municipal Alliance, whose mission is to advise the municipal government and the Howell K-8 School District Board of Education on current drug and alcohol abuse trends, and to provide subsequent prevention programming addressing these trends with the application of federal grant funding, according to Howell’s municipal website.

Ralph M. Hoffman Jr., a former law enforcement officer, is the coordinator of the alliance.

“The Howell Police Department is one of (several) agencies in Monmouth County that you can go to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and drop off unused prescriptions. There is a container in the lobby of police headquarters, so if you can’t make it (to town hall) on Sept. 26, you can go anytime to Howell police headquarters,” Hoffman said.

The prescription drug drop box allows members of the public to dispose of medication anonymously, at any time.

Hoffman said the drop-off box at Howell police headquarters is filled on a regular basis.

“It is the commitment of Howell to assist people in getting rid of their unused prescription drugs in a safe and convenient matter and to give them information. We will have information at the location regarding drug prevention tips,” he said.