New Jersey AG collects prescriptions to cut down on abuse



The New Jersey attorney general says that his office is taking in a record number of prescription pills, all in order to cut down on drug abuse.

Attorney General Christopher Porrino says that more than 360 pounds of pills were dropped off at the Hughes Justice Center in Trenton in less than three hours.

“We know that medicine cabinets, for a drug dealer, it’s like a gold mine,” Porrino says.

Porrino says that to him the pills represent addictions diverted. Studies have shown that 8 in 10 opioid addicts start with pills before transitioning to heroin.

Police departments say that they want the unused pills turned in so that they can’t pollute the water supply or be stolen.

“Real estate open houses, people will pretend that they're going to look at a home, sign in, ask to use the bathroom and raid the medicine cabinet,” Porrino says.

People who have unused pills can turn them in to special drop boxes in police stations, no questions asked. Officials are also going to be rolling out mobile drop boxes to reach out to senior citizens and other members of the community.

Porrino’s office says that overdose deaths topped 2,000 in 2016 in New Jersey, killing more people than guns, car accidents and suicides combined.

Officials say that they collected more than 20,000 pounds of pills in the first quarter of 2017.

Porrino says that he hopes that new laws passed this year to impose new regulations on doctors who prescribe opioid painkillers will also help to cut down on overdoses.