Portland schools pass out thousands of drug deactivation bags

Portland Public Schools are utilizing a new tool to help students and their families dispose of potentially harmful drugs.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 7:10 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Portland Public Schools are using a new tool to help students and their families dispose of potentially harmful drugs.

At registration, Portland high schoolers got all the information they need for the new school year and each got sent home with a Deterra bag. Their purpose is to dispose of any drugs that kids may have access to at home.

See Also: PPS reaches tentative agreement with Portland Federation of School Professionals

“Schools have an important role in doing drug and alcohol prevention, but the bulk of prevention and protective factors happen at home,” said Mary Stevens-Krogh, the Drug and Alcohol Support Services Coordinator at PPS.

Each bag has how-to instructions on the back and can deactivate 45 pills at once, but it also works with other substances.

“You can put anything in these bags. They’re designed for prescription drugs that have been expired or are no longer being used but any substance that you have in your home can be found, if you find fake medications, marijuana, can also go into these bags,” Clair Raujol, the Addiction Prevention Coordinator for Multnomah County’s Behavioral Health Division, said.

In just seconds the unwanted substances sitting in your medicine cabinet can be rendered useless by just putting them in one of the Deterra bags with some water. You can then toss the bag into the trash.

“That’s it! You should not open the bag back up, you don’t have to take the bag anyplace special to drop it off,” Stevens-Krogh said.

Multnomah County donated thousands of these bags to Portland Public Schools hoping to help spark a conversation among families about substance use as our community sees opioid addiction claim lives.

See Also: PPS warns of possible school closure for teacher strike

“As your kids get older it’s talking to them that there are dangerous substances in our community. Our community is struggling with that a lot right now, that means they don’t take any medications from friends ever because we don’t know what could be in it,” Stevens-Krogh said.

Each bag also has a QR code on it, leading families to instructions in multiple languages and more information about why they passed these out. If families need more bags, PPS high schools have extras on hand.