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Press Release

U.S. Attorney for Oregon Encourages Community Members to Participate in Prescription Drug Take Back Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon
This Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, invites all community members to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 28, 2017.  

“DEA’s Drug Take Back Day offers a completely anonymous way to dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “We encourage all community members to do their part to combat the opioid abuse epidemic. Unused prescription pain medications stored in your home pose a significant risk of drug addiction for family members and youth. These medications,” continued Williams “are every bit as dangerous as illegal narcotics purchased on the street. Join us in this effort to help stem the tide of abuse in our communities.”

 “Disposing of leftover painkillers or other addictive medicines in the house is one of the best ways to prevent a member of your family from becoming a victim of the opioid epidemic,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation’s opioid epidemic, which has led to the largest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen.”

 Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. DEA launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advised the public that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—posed potential safety and health hazards.

 On the April 2017 Take Back Day, a record 12,120 pounds of medications were collected by DEA in Oregon and removed from circulation.

 The public can locate nearby collection sites at or by calling 800-882-9539. Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites—liquids and needles or other sharps will not be accepted.

Updated October 27, 2017