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Drug takeback sites in Bedford, Goffstown report heavy dose of disposables

Union Leader Correspondent

September 30. 2012 11:46PM

BEDFORD - Several boxes of prescription drugs were collected in Bedford and Goffstown Saturday as part of a national endeavor to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription medications.

A combined effort with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, police stations across the state provided a dropoff site for medications that will be picked up by DEA representatives later this week to be destroyed, said Bedford Police Detective Chip Morley.

Morley estimated that 80 pounds of medications were collected during the four-hour event, doubling the 40 pounds collected in April.

Morley said even some over-the-counter medications were delivered to the department.

'We're seeing a variety of things, a little of everything,' Morley said. 'I wouldn't have expected the turnout we've had over the past few years.'

The drug takeback days occur twice a year, and according to DEA statistics, the fourth drug takeback day in April yielded big results.

According to the DEA, about 522,161 pounds of medications were returned to 5,659 takeback sites nationally. Since the program's inception, more than 1.5 million pounds - or 774 tons - of medications have been collected.

Morley said one resident brought in several medications that were used by her mother, who recently died.

'This was a good way for her to get rid of those medications,' he said.

In Goffstown, four large boxes were packed up and ready for delivery, with one more expected to be filled.

Detective Tom Hammond said the department normally collects about 100 pounds of drugs, and that this event was right on par.

Hammond said that while many people are aware of the drug takeback days, there are an increasing number of prescriptions being written, creating a cycle.

'As these events take place, there is a recurring need for disposal,' he said.

Bedford Police Chief John Bryfonski said it has become increasingly important for drugs that are no longer used to be disposed of properly.

Many teens believe that prescription medications are safe, and said 63 percent of teens believe that prescription drugs are easy to get from the medicine cabinets of family and friends, making it crucial to get rid of prescriptions that are no longer used.

Bryfonski said New Hampshire is a state where deaths associated with prescription drug abuse exceed traffic fatalities.

Health Public Safety Bedford

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