COMPLETE BERGEN TAKE BACK LIST: Police departments throughout Bergen County will take aim at Wyckoff’s record haul from April in this weekend’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The nationwide event gives citizens the seventh opportunity in three years to address pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs – with no questions asked.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT has the complete list ( below ) of Bergen police departments collecting the pills this weekend ( NOTE TO BERGEN POLICE DEPARTMENTS: If you’re collecting this weekend and aren’t on the DEA list below, please let us know: NEWS TIPS ).
Six months ago, Americans turned in more than 742,000 pounds (371 tons) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. That brought the overall total to more than 2.8 million pounds—more than 1,400 tons – that the DEA has incinerated.
Of the 3,046 pounds of drugs collected countywide in April, Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox reported that 181 people brought 417 pounds to borough headquarters — nearly 14% of Bergen’s entire haul.
“This controlled destruction of the drugs keeps them from improperly being destroyed when dumped in toilets, sinks or the trash; and having the medications then enter the water stream,” Fox noted. “Additionally, getting rid of unused drugs prevents children from improperly accessing and potentially abusing prescription drugs that might be in the home.”
The program has helped prevent addiction, overdose deaths and the diversion of drugs to street dealers, federal authorities emphasize. An estimated 6.1 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2011, and 20,000 a year die from prescription drug overdoses, they say.
“We will never arrest our way out of this epidemic,” U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul J. Fishman said.
An estimated 75% of people abusing prescription pain relievers “got them through friends or relatives the most recent time they used them, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet,” the government said in a news release.
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 drugs of choice for abusers nationwide.
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.
Residents are encouraged to clean out their cabinets and take this opportunity to safely dispose of any unused or expired medication. Police officers will be on hand to assist with the safe disposal of medication. No questions will be asked.
Among those departments participating:
Stop & Shop Store
675 Paterson Avenue, Carlstadt
POLICE HQ phone: (201) 438-4300
New Milford Police
930 River Rd.
New Milford, POLICE HQ phone: (201) 261-1400
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