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Quarter ton of drugs collected in Southeast

Portland police officers were stationed outside the Southeast Precinct building on April 26, taking handfuls of over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals from Southeast Portland residents as they drove in with them.

“We are here at another drug turn-in day, in cooperation with the DEA who sponsors this twice-yearly event,” said City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Specialist Jenni Pullen.

They were taking unused prescription drugs – but also vitamins and remedies and pet medications too, Pullen said.

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Portland Police East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team Officer Rob Brown, and City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Specialist Jenni Pullen, receive unused medications from a Southeast resident.“The idea is to encourage people to clean out their medicine cabinets, turn the unwanted drugs in, and let disposal professionals incinerate them, including the containers,” Pullen said. “It keeps these chemicals out of our landfills – where they would be, if disposed of in the trash; and it also keeps them from being flushed down the toilet, and perhaps getting into our waterways.”

More important than the environmental benefits, she added, “Cleaning out your medicine cabinet can keep teenagers from accessing prescription medications at home, at their grandparents’ homes, and their friends’ homes.

“Unfortunately many youngsters experiment with these drugs, thinking ‘it's safe because it was prescribed by a doctor’,” Pullen explained. “The fact is, that some medications, if used other than as prescribed to the patient, can be lethal.”

You need not wait for the next event if you missed this one. Secure “drop boxes” are located in the lobbies of all Portland Police Stations, and are available during their regular office hours.