The Verona Police Department is encouraging residents to prevent medication abuse and accidental ingestion with a free drug take-back event on Saturday, April 27.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can bring their unused, unwanted or expired medications to the Verona Police Department, 111 Lincoln St., for safe and anonymous disposal.

The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, a news release from the department stated.

“Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, diversion, misuse, and abuse,” the release reads. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high – more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined.”

The department is hosting the free event as a part of a partnership with the Department of Justice, which is leading the drug take-back day effort around the state.

Officers will not accept any “sharps,” which includes needles and lancets, inhalers or any medications that are stored under any kind of pressure. The department will also not accept any non-prescription personal hygiene products.

The department asks that unused pills be brought to the take-back event in clear plastic baggies, and any prescription liquids and creams be left in their original packaging.

For more information, call the department at 845-7623.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at kimberly.wethal@wcinet.com and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.