COMPLETE BERGEN LIST: Closing out National Recovery Month, citizens get another chance Saturday to turn in unused, potentially dangerous medications, with no questions asked, in more than three dozen Bergen County towns and elsewhere. Here’s a list ….
Nearly 1.6 million pounds of prescription drugs have been turned in over the past two years under the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Take Back Day program.
Federal authorities say the program has helped prevent addiction, overdose deaths and the diversion of drugs to street dealers.
The problem with flushing meds, they said, is the potential for release into the water supply.
Tossing them with the trash gives hardcore abusers an opportunity to find them.
“Over the past few years, we have prosecuted 65 people, including five doctors and two pharmacists, for prescription drug trafficking,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said earlier this week. “But we will never arrest our way out of this epidemic.”
Saturday will be the fifth national take-back day.
The last one, on April 28, produced a record 276 tons (552,161 pounds) of unwanted or expired medications turned in at site throughout the U.S. and its territories. A whopping 16,560 pounds of pills – more than eight tons – were returned in the Los Angeles area alone. Little Rock, Arkansas, took in more than six tons.
DEA and 4,300 local law enforcement partners have established 7,500 disposal sites nationwide, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Our take-back events highlight the problems related to prescription drug abuse and give our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.
Pharmaceutical drug abuse has become such an epidemic in middle-class America that enough painkillers were prescribed last year to medicate every American adult around the clock for a month, the national Centers for Disease Control says. Vicodin, Percocet, Klonopin and other medications are becoming the drugs of choice for abusers nationwide.
NOTE: Inspired by National Take Back Day, New Jersey authorities have a separate program available 24/7, with secure drop boxes in all 21 counties, including one at the Paramus Police Department. For more info, click: PROJECT MEDICINE DROP
More than 70 percent of people aged 12 and older who abuse prescription pain relievers obtained them from friends or relatives, compared with five percent who obtained them from drug dealers or online, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Our unprepared loved ones can be supplied by their best friends at school, unsecured medicine cabinets in our households, and even some medical professionals who choose to traffic pills for profit,” Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge of DEA office in New Jersey, said.
You can find the nearest site by visiting: www.dea.gov
CLICK: “Drug Disposal” and “Got Drugs?”
The service is free and anonymous.
Or check this list: