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MILLBURN - Communities across the country Nov. 14 will participate in the 12th Annual American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) Day of Awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse and Safe Disposal, a public health initiative supported by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and encourage safe disposal of prescription drugs.

“The American Medicine Chest Challenge can help save the lives of our children,” stated Angelo M. Valente, CEO of AMCC. “By participating in AMCC’s ‘5 Step Challenge,’ families throughout the country are safeguarding their home from the potential misuse of medicine. The five steps include taking inventory of your medicine, securing your medicine chest, taking medicine only as prescribed, safely disposing of unused, unwanted and expired medicine, and, most importantly, talking to your children about the dangers of prescription drugs.”

According to a release, estimates indicate that more than 52,000 people in the U.S. died of an opioid overdose in 2019.

In New Jersey this year, more than 2,300 people have died of a drug overdose through September, a vast majority of which can be attributed to opioids. More than 2.5 million opioid prescriptions had been dispensed in the state over the first nine months of the year.

The American Medicine Chest Challenge is the home of the national registry of permanent collection sites where people can safely dispose of their unwanted, expired and unused medicine. Nationally, there are nearly 2,000 permanent drop-off locations in 47 states and Washington, D.C.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, disposal sites might not be accessible, and visiting them is not encouraged at this time. Safe home disposal information has been provided by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Please contact a local collection site to find out additional information and resources in your community. To find a local collection site, visit the American Medicine Chest Challenge website.

AMCC is supported by The Partnership to End Addiction, the American College of Emergency Room Physicians and Covanta Energy and is a subsidiary of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

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