Broome County Will Offer Option For At-Home Drug Disposal

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VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Starting in February, Broome County residents will be able to dispose of their unwanted medications safely in their own homes using warm water and a special pouch.

The Deterra Drug Deactivation System is a pouch containing activated carbon which bonds to pharmaceuticals. Just add water and shake. The process renders the drugs chemically inactive. Then the pouch can be thrown in the garbage.

A health network in Pennsylvania’s Tioga County recently made the pouches available there.

Deterra Drug Disposal bag. Photo courtesy Laurel Health Clinics

Deterra Drug Disposal bag. (Photo courtesy Laurel Health Clinics)

The pouch works for pills, patches, liquids, creams and films.

Over 2,000 pouches will be available at some municipalities, home care and community agencies, and county departments.

Officials from the Broome County Health Department say the pouches will help fight the opioid epidemic.

“Fighting this complex public health epidemic takes a multi-faceted approach, and we are pleased to offer our community members another way to properly dispose of prescription opioids, ultimately saving lives and helping those with substance use disorders,” Marissa Knapp, Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator for Broome County, said in a press release.

The county health department points to research which shows 70 percent of opioids for surgical use remain unused and available for people to abuse.