Drug overdoses are the number one cause of accidental death in the United States. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control reports more than 63,600 people died due to overdose. Of those deaths, approximately two-thirds involved heroin and prescription painkillers. In response to ongoing drug crisis, Walmart is offering a free opioid disposal kit called Dispose Rx that will allow people to dispose of their unused opioid medications. This opioid disposal kit will be included with every new prescription that is filled at all 4,800 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies nationwide.
What is The Dispose Rx Disposal Kit?
Dispose Rx is an opioid disposal system the features a powder that turns pills into a biodegradable gel when activated with water. Both the gel and the disposal kit are environmentally safe and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The makers of the Dispose RX opioid disposal kit want to reduce the risk of accidental drug overdoses. Additionally, the design of this kit eliminates water pollution due to unsafe drug disposal practices.
The Dispose Rx drug disposal kit is easy to use and involves a three-step process:
- Collect all unused or expired medications and ensuring that the container is no more than a third full.
- Once collected, fill the prescription vial with water ensuring that the vial is no more than two-thirds full.
- Add the powder, screw on the safety cap, and shake for about 30 seconds. The resulting gel that forms is non-poisonous and negates the effects of the drugs itself.
The gel can be discarded in two ways. It can either be simply be discarded in the trash, or it can be taken to a local drop-off location for proper disposal. The Dispose Rx works on any form of opioid drugs. This can include powders, pills, tablets, sublingual film, capsules, liquids or transdermal patches.
Fighting the Opioid Epidemic One Prescription at a Time
At Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies nationwide, The Dispose Rx kit will be given away to those filling new Class II prescriptions. People filling these prescriptions will also receive an opioid safety information brochure in addition to the opioid disposal kit. The retail giant’s effort to help curb the ongoing opioid crisis is another step that retail pharmacies have taken in the last couple of years.
In September of 2016, CVS Caremark pharmacies nationwide started selling the opioid reversal drug Narcan and limited all opioid prescriptions to seven days. Shortly thereafter, Walgreens also started stocking their pharmacies with Narcan. It is estimated that approximately 65% of people that abuse prescription opioids obtain them from family members or friends.
How Can You Safely Dispose of Unused Prescriptions?
If you have unused or unwanted prescription medications, it is very important to dispose of them properly to reduce the chance of abuse or accidental overdose. In addition, opioid disposal kits such as Dispose Rx, there are other actions you can take to safely dispose of potentially dangerous prescription medications.
The following are four options that are available to you.
- Permanent Collection Sites
Permanent collection sites feature clearly marked collection boxes which are placed outside of or in the lobby building. The most common locations for these collection boxes are police stations and other law enforcement offices. These sites are highly visible and have clear instructional signage on how to safely drop off medications. Additionally, permanent collection sites easily accessible during different times of the day.
- Prescription Take Back Events
Another common way to dispose of unused or unwanted medications is through prescription take-back events. These events are well advertised in both news and social media and give people the chance to bring unwanted drugs for proper disposal. These events are usually sponsored by various organizations and offer temporary collection boxes for prescription drug pickup. Local law enforcement is present to oversee the collection process. Additionally, law enforcement will have medications in their possession until they are picked up by authorized personnel.
- Prescription Mail-Back Programs
Mail-back programs allow participating pharmacies or reverse distributors to collect unused or unwanted medications. Reverse distributors are those who receive controlled and uncontrolled substances from DEA-approved personnel and return them to manufacturers. These mail-back programs are tightly controlled, and operators of these programs are run under stringent rules instituted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Can You Safely Dispose of Medications in the Trash?
There are ways where you can dispose of medications safely in your own home. The most common option is to mix uncrushed medications and put them in unpalatable substances like kitty litter, dirt or used coffee grounds. This mixture can be placed in a sealed plastic bag and then thrown in with the rest of your household trash.
It is also highly advisable that you properly dispose of empty pill vials or containers. It is extremely important to scratch out or completely black out your personal information on these containers. You want to be sure any information is unreadable before discarding in the trash. If you are unsure if a medication can be disposed of in the home, contact experienced medical personnel.
Pinnacle Recovery Will Help You Overcome Opioid Addiction for Good
When misused or intentionally abused, opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription medications can destroy the lives of addicts and tear their families apart. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers, call the addiction treatment professionals at Pinnacle Recovery today.
Located in scenic Utah, Pinnacle Recovery is a peaceful refuge that provides a network of support for those who need to focus on their unique needs and truly heal from the ravages of addiction. Our outstanding team of experienced case managers and caretakers are here to understand your needs, create a treatment plan that works for you.
You cannot wait another day to address the problems of addiction in your life. Pick up the phone right now and call Pinnacle Recovery toll-free. The path to lifelong recovery begins today.