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Drug turn-in event to be held at PSU's Center for Student Health and Counseling
Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 10:00am to Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 2:00pm

What:  Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Student Health and Counseling will host a prescription drug turn-in event on Saturday, Oct. 29.  The purpose of the event is to give people a way to get rid of old medicines in a safe, environmentally friendly way.

Allowable items include all prescription medications and samples, over the counter medications, vitamins, pet medications, medicated ointments, and liquid medications that are in leak-proof containers.

Items not accepted for disposal are thermometers, syringes, sharps, IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, inhalers, and EpiPens.

When:  Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:  In front of Portland State University’s Student Health and Counseling office, 1880 SW 6th Ave. (the corner of Sixth and Hall).

Contact:  Scott Gallagher, PSU Director of Communications, 503-725-8789,

Background:  The event is part of PSU’s Healthy Campus initiative. It is open to anyone, not just PSU students.

This event is being held with the help of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Portland Police Bureau’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement.  Those agencies have held similar events annually on the east and west sides of the Willamette River.  This is the first time a drug turn-in event has been held at PSU. Two other events will be happening at the same time at the Fred Meyer stores on North Interstate Ave. and N.E. Glisan St. Police officers will be at the drop-off site to answer questions.

Dr. Dana Tasson, head of  PSU’s Student Health and Counseling office, said the use of unprescribed medications in Oregon, particularly painkillers, is higher than the national average. Providing an easy way for people to get rid of their unneeded medications is a way of keeping them out of the hands of people for whom they were not prescribed, he said.

The medications collected at the event will be incinerated, thus keeping them out of the municipal water system.  Tasson said trace amount of medications often show up in municipal water systems due to people flushing old medicines down the toilet.