1st Prescription Drug Drop Box Coming To Glen Rock Friday


GLEN ROCK, NJ — Beginning Friday, residents may safely dispose of their unwanted or expired prescription pills at Rock Ridge Pharmacy.

A new drug disposal box, the borough's first, will be available to use at the pharmacy in recognition of New Jersey's Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day.

The project was spearheaded by Michelle Torpey, a licensed pharmacist and concerned parent. She saw the need for such a box after seeing how heroin use keeps spreading throughout the area.

Local police departments throughout North Jersey have placed similar boxes in their headquarters to encourage residents to dispose of their medications there. However, the Glen Rock Police Department is only open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

The box may go in the pharmacy because the federal Drug Enforcement Agency made a rule in 2014 that allows pharmacies to have them if they pass certain requirements. The pharmacy is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"It makes perfect sense," said Glen Rock Police Chief Dean Ackermann. "It is a great idea and we fully support it. The credit goes to the pharmacy and Ms. Torpey."

Torpey started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the money necessary to bring the box to the pharmacy. The campaign hits its $850 goal very quickly.

"The rising drug abuse numbers worried me. So many young people are dying of heroin abuse. People who knew I was a pharmacist would ask me how to safely destroy their prescription drugs," Torpey said in a statement. "They worried about their children and their elderly parents. The Box is here because of the concerned parents that donated the money to buy it."

Topey will be at the pharmacy, at 191 Rock Road, from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday handing out information on the state's Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative.

Volunteers will be at the Borough Hall Train Station from 7 to 8 a.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday alerting residents to the box's location and handing out opioid abuse prevention information.

Volunteers will also be downtown handing out information as part of the borough's inaugural First Friday community event from 5 to 8 p.m.

The State Legislature unanimously approved designating every Oct. 6 Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day in New Jersey. It is designed to bring attention to the opioid crisis facing the state and the steps residents can take to stem the epidemic.

A recent study by National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that about 41 percent of people who misused opioids obtained them for free from a friend or relative, according to Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, a nonprofit. Users of prescription drugs are 40 times more likely to use heroin, according to the CDC the nonprofit stated in a news release.

More than 33,000 people in the United States died of opioid overdoses in 2015, and the number of such deaths quadrupled from 1999 to 2015.