‘Drug Take-back Day’ returns to East Portland

Although this drug turn-in was low key, you’ll be amazed at how many boxes were filled with unused medications at the end of the four-hours …

At the “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” held in East Portland, Portland Community Safety Division’s Jacob Brostoff points to the drop off point.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After being suspended for the COVID-19 pandemic – and the disbanding of the Crime Prevention Office by the City of Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life – Portland resumed participation in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” on Saturday, April 22, at the former the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Southeast Precinct parking lot.

Since Portland’s first “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day”, back on August 29, 2009, East Portland residents have had a safe and secure way to get rid of unwanted or expired medications. [To read about this first event, CLICK HERE.]

Again, PPB Neighborhood Response Team officers helped out that day, but this year, the event was coordinated by the City of Portland’s Office of Management and Finance’s Community Safety Division.

During a brief lull in the activity, City of Portland, Office of Management and Finance, Community Safety Division Safe Blocks Program Coordinator Rocio Garcia spends a moment telling about the drug turn-in program..

“We are collecting both prescription and nonprescription drugs and medications today,” explained Rocio Garcia, coordinator of the City of Portland’s Office of Management and Finance, Community Safety Division Safe Blocks Program.

Garcia pointed out that Portland’s Safe Blocks Program has been assigned some of the safety efforts formerly provided by East Portland Crime Prevention coordinators.

“Today, we’re taking in tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, for safe disposal,” Garcia told  East Portland News.

“It’s important to do this now – because, first of all, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve done it – and it’s really nice to get out and to meet the community and provide a service to help Portland residents safely dispose of these drugs.”

Collecting no longer needed medications from a resident, here’s Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team Officer Terrett.

It’s important to get the disused medications out of out of neighbors’ homes for a two reasons, she said:

To reduce access to drugs that are expired, or not being used, thus avoiding unauthorized use, especially among the youth.

To make sure that discarded drugs don’t go to a landfill, and don’t find their way into our water system and contaminate it.

“From the data we collected today, we had 129 people drop off medications, and we filled 20 boxes – so approximately 800 lbs. of prescription and non-prescription medications were collected.” Garcia commented.

Portland Central Precinct Police Cadet Brandon Recinos, and East Precinct Cadet Shalisha Sen, here were stacking some of the 20 cartons collected – all to be taken and incinerated.

“We do owe a big thanks to all of our city partners; especially Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct Officers – we couldn’t have done it with out them,” Garcia concluded.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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