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Oregon Lawmakers Unveil New Way To Dispose Of Unwanted Drugs


Congressman Ron Wyden and state Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, try the new medicine drop-off kiosk at Walgreens in Gresham.

Congressman Ron Wyden and state Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, try the new medicine drop-off kiosk at Walgreens in Gresham.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

Oregon lawmakers announced a new initiative Monday to make it easier to dispose of unused prescriptions.

Almost two people overdose on prescription pain medications every day in Oregon.  For the nation as a whole, it’s 76 people each day.

Experts say most of those drugs come straight out of medicine cabinets, where they’ve either been left because the patient got better or because a prescription was changed.

Law enforcement offices have long accepted old medications, but Oregon State Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, said this is different.

“The police stations are not necessarily convenient and people don’t know about it,” she said.

“But with Walgreens, this is where they get their prescriptions and it’ll be so much easier for them to drop it off,” said Monnes Anderson.

Walgreens is putting drug disposal kiosks in six of its 80 Oregon stores.

Congress passed a bill earlier this summer aimed at reducing overdoses. But no money was included. Ranking finance committee member, Senator Ron Wyden said he hopes to find money for the program this fall.

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