No Drugs

For the fourth consecutive year since its inception the National Drug Take Back Day will take place this Saturday October 22, 2016 across the country.  The day was put into national recognition as a way to encourage individuals to forfeit their unused, expired or unwanted prescription medications and drugs to the authorities.  The idea behind the campaign was to empower people to unburden themselves and dispose of dangerous drugs and prevent them from circulating back into the environment where they often end up in the hands of children and criminals.  In New Jersey plenty of local police departments are participating in the coordinated effort to reduce the drug load of the community and will have drop boxes conveniently located for disposal.   

Cleaning up the Streets 

Since its inauguration the government sponsored initiative helmed by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency has cleaned up the streets in New Jersey and to a larger extent nationwide.   According to the New Jersey branch of the DEA, the program has been responsible for removing what amounts to nearly 7 million pounds of prescription pharmaceutical medication on a national scale since being launched back in 2010.  Residents of New Jersey in particular have been extremely responsive, having surrendered on their own 174,000 pounds – equating to 87 tons removed from the population.  The last take back day New Jersey residents submitted 17,785 pounds of prescription narcotics by themselves.  These numbers are downright sobering and illustrate the enormity of the problem we are facing as a country.  

Leave the Needles at Home 

It should be noted that objects like syringes and any other sharp pointy objects are not accepted at these sites for the health risks they can potentially pose.  The program is anonymous, meaning that user submissions should be stripped of their prescription labeling and any other personally id.  This is meant so as not to be a deterrent for people in consideration of relinquishing their ill-gotten drugs who may be in fear of prosecution by authorities.  This is an integral feature of the program and a major reason for its overwhelming success since coming into existence.  To locate drop off sites near your area head to www.dea.gov and click the “Got Drugs” link an enter your zip code in the search field.    

The Future is in Our Hands 

If we are to stand any chance as a country against the constant onslaught of drugs we need more coordinated efforts like this on a grand scale.  People need to individually and voluntarily assume the mantle of leadership and set the example to be followed by the rest of the citizens of our great nation.  The more people take it upon themselves to be a part of the solution as opposed to the problem we will start to see great strides in the war on drugs.  This program represents a small piece in the overall puzzle that will lead us to the path of recovery and enlightenment.  As a nation and people we stand at an important crossroads.  Will we rise to the occasion or buckle under the pressure?  It is up to each and every one of us collectively to answer that question.  The future is in our hands and we owe it to ourselves and the next generation to eradicate this plague of mankind once and for all.