DEA, OAG, and PDFNJ Unite 442 NJ Communities in Operation Medicine Cabinet



Contact:          Angela Conover, PDFNJ, 201-916-1030

                        Douglas Collier, DEA-NJ, 973-776-1143


DEA, OAG, and PDFNJ Unite 442 New Jersey Communities in Operation Medicine Cabinet

NEW JERSEY— Gerard P. McAleer, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New Jersey Division and New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram, announced today the launch of Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey. This initiative, created with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), has 442 communities participating, and is available for all New Jersey residents to properly dispose of their unused, unwanted and expired medicine. Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey is a statewide initiative that is the first of its kind in the nation. This statewide effort is being spearheaded by the DEA New Jersey Division, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (OAG), and the PDFNJ, with partnership and support by many other local and statewide prevention and enforcement organizations. (Please see attached list.)

Gerard P. McAleer stated, "We are very fortunate to have access to a vast array of pharmaceutical products and prescription drugs.  Prescription drugs save lives, treat ailments and alleviate pain.  However, when prescription drugs are abused they become dangerous and potentially deadly by the user.  Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey is a statewide initiative to increase awareness and provide the public an opportunity to rid their homes of unused, unwanted and expired medicine lawfully and safely.” 

"I am grateful for the cooperation of the hundreds of police departments in New Jersey for participating in this ground-breaking operation to reduce the availability of addictive prescription pain killers and other prescription and over-the-counter medicine that can be abused," Attorney General Milgram said. "Drugs that are stashed away in homes — often out-of-date and long forgotten — can be just as dangerous as those illegally peddled on our streets."

 “Operation Medicine Cabinet was established for two main goals - awareness of the dangers of prescription and over-the – counter medicines and the call to action to New Jersey residents to dispose of their unused unwanted and expired medicines in a safe manner,” explained Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of the PDFNJ.  “47% of New Jersey parents of Middle School Students said they know a little or just about nothing about prescription drug abuse, according to the 2009 PDFNJ Parents Tracking Survey,” explained Joseph A. Miele, Chairman of the PDFNJ.

According to McAleer and Valente, the 2007 study by the National Study of Drug-Use and Health, 70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), reports that upwards of 9 million people use prescription medication for non-medical uses. They noted that the 2007 Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) Principals Survey found that half of the principals surveyed said that prescription drugs are abused more than twice that of ecstasy and cocaine by New Jersey Middle School students.

New Jersey residents looking for information on their local collection site should visit Local collection sites and contact information will be updated daily as new communities become part of this initiative.

Photo and interview opportunities are available upon request.