PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey is now offering more places for residents to securely drop off unused medications.

Project Medicine Drop,” which was launched last November, has been expanded to all of the state’s 21 counties, Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced Thursday.

EXTRA: Project Medicine Drop Locations (pdf)

The program features mailbox-like receptacles at 27 law enforcement locations across the state where people can safely dispose their unused and expired prescription medications.

1010 WINS’ SallyAnn Mosey reports

The drop boxes are available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Nationwide, more than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from friends or relatives,” Chiesa said in a press release.”With this program we encourage you to take responsibility for the medications in your home – and safely dispose of those you no longer need.”

The program is aimed at combating prescription drug abuse.

Every day, 40 Americans die from an overdose caused by prescription painkiller abuse, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials also hope the program will prevent the drugs from ending up in waterways and landfills.

More than 2,000 pounds of unused medications have been dropped off since the start of the program.

Morristown-based Covanta Energy will destroy the medications at no cost to taxpayers.

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