Section: The Institute for Prevention News

RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and DART Prevention Coalition Provide Project Medicine Drop Boxes to Ocean County Police Departments

Ocean Gate RX box
Michele Buldo, DART Prevention Coalition Coordinator, RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Reece Fisher, Ocean Gate Chief of Police, with a “Project Medicine Drop Box.”

RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and the DART Prevention Coalition joined the New Jersey Attorney General’s “Project Medicine Drop” initiative and provided secure prescription drug drop boxes to four Ocean County Police Departments this month including Plumsted, Ocean Gate, Tuckerton and Beach Haven.

The medicine drop boxes make it more convenient for residents to take an active role in the fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic. Prescription painkillers are often a gateway for further drug abuse. According to the 2013 and 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than half of the people who misuse prescription painkillers got them from friends or relatives; 22 percent received a prescription from a doctor. In total, 4.3 million Americans use painkillers for non-medical purposes each month.

“We are very excited to partner with these outstanding police departments to provide this resource to the residents in these townships,” said Connie Greene, Vice President for the RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention. “Ocean County is at the heart of the opioid epidemic in New Jersey, and we know we need to do everything we can to get unused, unwanted and expired prescription pain medicines out of homes and unavailable to those who could abuse them.”

Project Medicine Drop provides the opportunity for residents to anonymously discard unused prescription medications every day throughout the year. This initiative also protects New Jersey’s environment by keeping these drugs out of landfills and out of the water supply.

The participating police departments maintain the deposited drugs, and dispose of them according to their normal procedures for the custody and destruction of controlled dangerous substances. They report the quantity of discarded drugs to the Division of Consumer Affairs on a quarterly basis.

The RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention promotes a healthy lifestyle and focuses on reducing factors that put families, individuals of all ages and communities at risk for alcohol and drug addiction. In 2016, the Institute for Prevention launched the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) in Ocean and Monmouth Counties to connect narcan-reversed individuals with appropriate staff with the goal of getting them into recovery.

The mission of the DART Prevention Coalition is to engage Ocean County youth and residents in the process of reducing substance abuse. The Coalition, which develops environmental strategies to achieve its goal, is comprised of more than 80 Ocean County community leaders including law enforcement and government officials, educators, business owners, substance abuse professionals, clergy, students and other youth.

For more information about Project Medicine Drop, including the full list of participating locations, visit

Categories: Press Releases