Deposits can be made into the disposal unit during normal office hours

The city of Fairview and the Fairview Police Department introduced a new Drug Take Back Program on Monday, June 13.

The intent of the first-such program in East County is to get expired or unwanted prescription drugs out of the hands of the public, especially kids, and into the hands of law enforcement - no questions asked.

The secure Prescription Drug Disposal Unit, donated by Greater Gresham Area Prevention Partnership (GGAPP), was installed in the lobby of the Fairview Police Department, 1300 N.E. Village St., and will allow citizens to anonymously dispose of their unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs by simply dropping the drugs in the slotted door. Plastic bags will be available for those not wishing to place the prescription bottle (with their name and other information on the label) into the container.

Deposits can be made into the Prescription Drug Disposal Unit during the normal hours of the police department business office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. People do not have to live in Fairview to take advantage of the free program.

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in Oregon and throughout the United States, especially for teenage youth. According to the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the number of Americans age 12 and older who have abused pain medication increased by 20 percent since 2002.

Oregon ranks among the top-10 states for prescription drug abuse for all ages. Studies have shown that teenagers who abuse prescription drugs often obtain them from medicine cabinets of family members or friends.

Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson issued the following statement: 'Prescription drug abuse, especially by our youth and teens, has become an epidemic. The social and economic impact of prescription drug abuse is staggering. We simply must do a better job of reducing the availability of the unused prescription medication. A once or twice a year 'turn in program' was clearly not sufficient. As a result, we implemented this progressive approach to fighting this plague on our community.'

Acceptable items for deposit in the collection unit are prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, medication samples, pet and animal medications, ointments and lotions as well as liquid medications contained in leak-proof containers.

Items that are not acceptable for deposit into the collection unit include needles and other sharp items, thermometers, bloody or infectious waste, medications from businesses, clinics, hospitals or pharmacies, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans or inhalers.

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