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April 17. 2014 10:28PM

Bedford police will collect old, unused and unwanted drugs

BEDFORD — Misusing or abusing prescription drugs could lead to heroin use and death, and the Bedford Police Department is trying to get these drugs off the street.

On Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Bedford Police Department, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, will take part in Drug Take Back Day, and will accept expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs — no questions asked. “Unused and unwanted prescription drugs become the target of thieves who find, steal and use the drugs, particularly pain killers, and they can become recreational drugs, which could result in death,” said Bedford Police Chief John Bryfonski, who served 27 years with the DEA in Philadelphia, Pa., and in Delaware.

Bryfonski said most often drugs are stolen from the home of grandparents or parents, or are distributed by and to friends. While he was serving in the DEA, he experienced how rampant and deadly prescription drug use affects families and the community.

“In one case, a 19-year-old was burned in an accident with a lawn mower. He was at a friend’s home and was given a pain killer and died,” said Bryfonski. “Anytime we can remove unwanted and unused drugs and pain killers we take the opportunity.”

He said most heroin addicts began their drug use with prescription drugs, particularly pain killers.

In March, Bedford police handled four incidents of drug overdose, and although they didn’t lead to death, Bryfonski said police determined they were due to heroin. Drop off your old prescription drugs in pill or patch form at the safety complex at 55 Constitution Drive, off Routes 101 and 114 in Bedford. The deaprtment cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. The service is free and anonymous.

Bedford hosts Drug Take Back days about three times a year. Last fall, Bedford took in 110 pounds.Nationwide during last October’s event, people turned in 324 tons, more than 647,000 pounds, of prescription drugs at about 4,114 sites operated by the DEA and thousands of state and law enforcement agencies. In the past seven Take Back events, the DEA and local law police departments received more than 3.4 million pounds of pills.For more information about Drug Take Back Day, call the Bedford Police Department at 472-5113.Drug Take Back Day will be held in communities throughout the state. Visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov to find a site nearby.


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