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Drug turn-in gains weight

Forest Grove residents handed over 175.8 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs to Forest Grove police April 27, which was 40 pounds more than police collected during a similar event last September.

The event was part of the sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Nationally, law enforcers collected 742,497 pounds — 50 percent more than in September.

Statewide, Oregonians visited 55 collection sites to remove a total of 10,422 pounds of prescription drugs from circulation, nearly a third of the regional haul of 33,589 from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

The number of Americans who regularly abuse prescription drugs is twice the number who regularly use heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens and inhalants combined, according to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study also reveals more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, including raids on the family medicine cabinet.

More than 4,300 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies across the country participated in the April 27 event. Since Take-Back Day started, more than 2.8 million pounds of prescription meds have been removed from circulation.

Local vintners group gets award

The North Willamette Vintners will receive the “Essence of Washington County” award for the North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting Event during this year’s stakeholder awards luncheon May 10.

This award represents an event or festival that best exemplifies the unique spirit, culture and taste of Washington County.

The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is located at the Holiday Inn Portland South in Wilsonville, 25425 S.W. 95th Avenue.

Attendance is free and people can RSVP at wcvatourismawards.eventbrite.com.