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Portland, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality encourages Oregonians throughout the state to take part in a nationwide effort on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to prevent pill abuse and theft by turning in potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in association with hundreds of law enforcement, public health and other organizations, will conduct the 18th National Drug Take Back Day in nine years. Last fall, Americans turned in close to 469 tons of drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have received more than 5,900 tons of pills.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Most of the locations are police stations and DEA and other law enforcement personnel will be present. For some, this can seem like an intimidating environment. Simply put medications you want to return in a bag and drop it off. You may remove or mark over prescription labels. You will not be asked to sign or list your name anywhere. See additional information below for permanent drug take back collection boxes in Oregon.

For details on event locations and times, visit the Drug Enforcement Administration website at https://takebackday.dea.gov. You can select events by city, county and zip code. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as nicotine vape pens and e-cigarettes (with batteries removed) will be accepted. People should NOT bring other liquids, inhalers, needles or sharps. No marijuana or illegal drugs should be brought to the events.

The National Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Additionally, drugs get into Oregon’s waterways from improper disposal. Flushing medicines or throwing them in the trash contributes to the problem of pharmaceutical pollution in waterways and water supplies.

More than 50 Oregon communities have established permanent, free collection boxes that are open year-round for safe and anonymous disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications. You can find the ones nearest to you at https://go.usa.gov/xVuTw.

About The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
DEQ ( http://go.usa.gov/xVJzK ) protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Media Contact: Lauren Wirtis, DEQ Public Affairs Specialist, 503-229-6488, wirtis.lauren@deq.state.or.us

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Environment & Energy
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