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Mother raises drug addiction awareness during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Glynnis Burke’s son Patrick died in 2019 after struggling with prescription drug addiction.

Matt Trapani and Kimberly Bukowiec

Oct 31, 2023, 9:37 AM

Updated 233 days ago

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A New Jersey mother is on a mission to save others from substance abuse and addiction. Glynnis Burke clutches a bag of prescription painkillers her son Patrick became addicted to, leading to his death in 2019.
“I still have these here. They need to go. Why do I still have them?” she asked News 12. “Maybe our conversation today will bring me to getting rid of these.”
Many people got the opportunity to dispose of these unwanted drugs on Saturday as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
“It’s an opportunity for people across the country to dispose of their unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications from their homes - making their home safer, removing the temptation,” says Timothy McMahon, acting assistant special agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The DEA gave News 12 New Jersey an exclusive look at the drugs being destroyed at the incinerator at Covanta Essex. Burning the drugs prevents them from going into the groundwater if they are flushed.
Burke says she hopes events like this can give others the chance to pull themselves out of a cycle of addiction.
“You have the family side of the equation and then you have the person who survived the addiction in recovery,” she says.
Burke is also a lead volunteer with the Black Poster Project – a group raising awareness about addiction and overdose.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day occurs twice a year in April and October.


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