SAFE Project to Distribute Drug Disposal Pouches Until May 16

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The DEA’s bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was postponed this month and hasn’t been rescheduled yet. The SAFE Project and Deterra have partnered to give households an alternate way of disposing of their prescription drugs.

Until May 16, The SAFE Project is handing out Deterra drug disposal pouches to households in need. Each pouch holds up to 90 pills or 12 patches. Pour expired or unwanted drugs into the bag, add water, shake, and throw it in the garbage. The bag can also deactivate prescription creams and over the counter medicines, like ibuprofen. The SAFE Project’s founders lost their son two and a half years ago to an accidental overdose of fentanyl laced heroin during his freshman year of college.

“Four out of five heroin addicts in our country started with prescription drugs and the majority of those did not get the prescription drug from the doctor. They got them from a friend or a family member or found it in the medicine cabinet,” co-founder Sandy Winnefeld said.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country rely on Drug Take Back Days multiple times a year to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs. Winnefield says there’s an increased risk among young people who are home from school during the pandemic.

“I also think that there’s a mental aspect here in that these kids don’t like being stuck at home,” Winnefeld said. “That could exacerbate some of the things that could cause them to want to use drugs in the first place.”

To request a bag, go to