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Bergenfield Accepting Unused Medications In National Take Back Day

Alfred Ramirez, M.D. is charged with selling painkiller prescriptions. Bail was set at $1.25 million.
Alfred Ramirez, M.D. is charged with selling painkiller prescriptions. Bail was set at $1.25 million. Photo Credit: Facebook

BERGENFIELD, N.J. -- Bergenfield police are among several law enforcement agencies in Bergen and Passaic counties who will participate in the federal DEA's national Drug Take Back Day next Saturday.

Although both counties have dozens of police departments that accept the medications for destruction around-the-clock every day, the DEA conducts the special event twice a year -- this time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills.

Before this, most people flushed their unused prescription drugs down the toilet, threw them in the trash, or kept them in the household medicine cabinet. This contaminated the water supply, helped start and feed habits — often for children — and tempted thieves.

The medication can either be disposed of in its original container or can be removed from its container and placed in the disposal box.

Liquid products should be disposed of in its original container with the cap tightly sealed, to prevent leakage, police say.

Authorities warn that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

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