Submitted on behalf of the Bedford Police Department
Chief Robert Bongiorno is pleased to report that the Bedford Police Department, in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), collected 26 pounds of prescription medications during National Drug Take Back Day last month.
Residents turned in their unwanted and expired medications to the Bedford Police Department on Oct. 28, which were then turned over to the DEA for proper disposal. The department also has two drop boxes for prescriptions in the station lobby, where residents can anonymously discard unwanted or potentially harmful drugs and substances.
“This was another successful Take Back Day for Bedford, and we are proud of the community for doing their part to fight the opioid epidemic by preventing these potentially harmful substances from ending up in the wrong hands,” Chief Bongiorno said. “We encourage residents to continue to take advantage of the drop boxes at the police station until the next Take Back Day in the spring.”
National Drug Take Back Day is a free and anonymous event coordinated by the DEA and police departments. The event gives the public an opportunity to prevent substance abuse by disposing of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs in their possession. The DEA accepted pills and patches but does not take liquids, needles, or sharps.
During its 14th Take Back Day on Oct. 28, the DEA, and more than 4,200 of its national, tribal and community law enforcement partners collected 912,305 pounds (about 456 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs at more than 5,300 collection sites — nearly six tons more than was collected at last spring’s Take Back Day. Since the program began seven years ago, about 9 million pounds (more than 4,500 tons) of prescription drugs have been collected.
This initiative addresses a vital public health issue. Easily accessible, unused prescriptions in homes are highly susceptible to abuse and misuse. Studies have shown that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. Residents are advised to avoid disposing of unused medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage, as these methods have potential safety and health risks.
Residents who were unable to attend the National Drug Take Back Day can also drop off their prescription drugs at the Bedford Police Department’s drug drop-off boxes in the station lobby, which are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control website or contact Bedford Police at 781-275-1212.