The prescription drug problem in America has gotten so bad that every avenue used to reduce it should be explored. A lot of attention has been placed on prescribing habits, preventing over dose fatalities and treatment. There has also been more use of prescription drug monitoring programs and growing participation in drug take-back days.
These events are coordinated through local law enforcement agencies and many pharmacies where collection sites are set up for people to be able to dispose of their unused medications. The reason for this is that it is common for people who abuse drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines to get them from friends and family members. It is also better to get rid of old prescriptions if you have young children in the house to prevent their exposure to them.
One of the problems with the current methods of prescription drug disposal, whether done at home or through collection sites, is finding an effective way of destroying the medications without harming the environment as well. Most at-home methods involve putting the pills in coffee grounds or cat litter, or worse, just flushing them down the toilet. However, the first two don’t fully absorb the drugs and the latter puts them into the water supply.
Recently, a company called Verde Technologies launched a product designed to safely and effectively dispose of prescription drugs. Based in Minneapolis, MN, Verde’s Deterra Drug Deactivation System uses a patented carbon base in a biodegradable pouch that absorbs the chemicals and renders them inactive. The bags come in multiple sizes, capable of disposing a small volume of pills (15), liquid or patches all the way up to larger containers that can dispose of 2,400 pills at a time. This range allows for individual use at home all the way up to law enforcement, hospital and other institutional use.
Aside from disposing of extra pills from old prescriptions, there are many other ways that we can address prescription drug abuse, including becoming more aware of alternative methods to treat symptoms to reduce the number of drugs being used. Of course, for those who become addicted, effective treatment is just a call away at Genesis House.