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National Drug Take Back Program, Saturday, April 30

DEQ Encourages Oregon Participation in National Drug Take-Back Program on Saturday, April 30

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is encouraging Oregonians throughout the state to take advantage of a nationwide effort this Saturday to collect unused, unwanted or expired medications so that they can be disposed of properly.

In communities all over Oregon and the nation, Saturday is the second annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, authorized by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in association with hundreds of law enforcement, public health and other local organizations. A total of 57 collection events will take place this Saturday throughout Oregon. For details on locations and times for each event, please check the Drug Enforcement Administration website at www.dea.gov and click on the “Got Drugs?” icon at the top of the home page. You can select events by city, county, zip code or state.

“This is an important opportunity to dispose of these medications in a way that is safe for people and the environment,” said Maggie Conley, of DEQ’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. “In the past, the recommended disposal method was to flush unused drugs down the toilet. This is a bad idea, because many of the drugs we use can pass through wastewater treatment plants and discharge to local waterways, potentially affecting aquatic life and humans downstream.”

Besides the associated environmental concerns, keeping unused or unwanted medications at home can present a hazard for children and others who can be accidentally poisoned by these drugs or who take the drugs intentionally, for non-medicinal purposes.

At the drug take-back events Saturday, only prescription and over-the-counter medications will be accepted. People should not bring needles, IV solutions or medical waste. No illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine should be brought to the events.

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