The drug turn-in program has been revived -- and is once again a way to get rid of discarded drugs

DAVID F. ASHTON - Portland Crime Prevention Program Coordinator Jenni Pullen displays discarded medications in one of the 44 boxes gathered during the event. It's not unusual to see Portland Police Bureau PPB officers piling up boxes of discarded, expired, or unused pharmaceuticals received from neighbors at their periodic events.

They're not packaging the spoils of a raid; instead, these prescription drugs were dropped off by residents on earlier this year as part of another Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) nationwide drug turn-in, held in Portland in the past few years at the former PPB "Southeast Precinct" building on East Burnside.

"We're also raising awareness that safely disposing of unused or expired medications helps keep our groundwater and waterways clean, and keeps these out of our landfills," pointed out City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Program Coordinator Jenni Pullen. "People going through their medicine cabinets and removing these medicines helps prevent teen and adult drug abuse, too."

"We're also shredding documents; we encourage people to shred old bills, invoices, tax documents – anything with information on there that could be used for identity theft and fraud," Pullen said.

The collection and destruction of papers and drugs is a partnership among Portland ONI, the Police Bureau, DEA, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the PPB Sunshine Division. And, volunteers also collected donations of clean clothing and canned food for families in need from the arriving residents.

By the time the turn-in was over, two industrial paper-shredding trucks were filled, and 44 boxes – 1,760 pounds – of drugs were boxed up, ready to be incinerated.

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