Drug deactivation kits now free at pharmacies
Eighty thousand drug disposal kits have been donated to the state for home use and will be distributed for free by Connecticut pharmacies in attempt to battle the opioid crisis.
The kits allow people to safely deactivate unused prescription drugs and throw them out with household garbage.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris joined a pharmaceutical executive on Thursday morning to announce the effort.
During a news conference in Hartford, Mark Trudeau, president and CEO of the New Jersey-based Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, said that his company wants to address the “complex” issues of opioid misuse and abuse.
“Providing patients with a safe, environmentally responsible way to dispose of unused medications is critical in this fight against prescription drug abuse,” Trudeau said.
Each kit, available at pharmacies throughout the state, can deactivate 45 pills, and are safely disposed of in the trash. The method is billed as being environmentally safe and, unlike flushing pills into municipal sewage systems, will not contribute to contaminating Long Island Sound.
Pharmacies where the kits can be obtained for free include Big Y, CVS, Price Chopper, Rite Aid, Shop Rite, Stop and Shop, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and others.
“Opioid misuse from prescription drugs can effect anyone of any age or background - nobody is immune,” Malloy said in a statement. “We’ve unfortunately heard many stories from residents whose addiction began when they were prescribed a few pills to help with a certain medical condition, and then led them down a path of addiction and overdose.
“By educating residents on the potential danger of these medications and how to safely dispose of any pills that may no longer be needed for their intended purpose,” Malloy said, “we can help prevent potential harm or even tragedy from occurring.”
“The opioid epidemic is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted solution,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “No one, single measure or initiative is going to solve the problems with opioid abuse, addiction and overdose that we face as a state and a community. But every step that we take will help to address an aspect of the epidemic and, hopefully, save lives.”
The Deterra drug disposal kits contain water-soluble inner pods with charcoal. Pills are placed inside the kits and warm water releases the carbon. The solution dissolves the drugs and renders them inert.
“Our agency is pleased to see this safe drug-disposal pouch program launch and that it’s been made available to all pharmacies in the state,” Harris said. “We’re excited to add this to the efforts we’re already collaborated on, such as drug drop boxes and education about safe medication disposal.
“I know the fight against the opioid crisis is personal to so many of us,” Harris said. “As a state, we need to continue taking every opportunity we have to keep unsafe drugs out of the hands of people they can hurt, and those who suffer from addiction.”