Dispose Unwanted Drugs During Pandemic

Medical experts say the coronavirus pandemic could make the opioid crisis even worse.

The American Medical Association put out this bulletin, expressing concern over recent reports of increased opioid use and opioid-related fatalities.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is launching an educational campaign to prevent overdose deaths by teaching families how to properly dispose of unwanted or leftover prescription medications.

Through a collaboration with Deterra pouches by Verde, HSC and several community partners will distribute 500 pouches, which destroy drugs when warm water is added to the bags containing deactivating pods.

Deterra pouches will also be provided to some patients receiving care through HSC’s Geriatric Clinic.

Each bag can destroy up to 90 pills.

“Unfortunately, teenagers can get into the medications and try them and often times, it’s their first experience with a prescription mediation that wasn’t prescribed for them and it can lead to other things. It can lead to death,” said registered nurse Jessica Rangel.

Experts maintain that it’s too easy for people struggling with addiction to find leftover pain prescriptions in the home. About 1.4 billion opioid prescriptions were dispensed between 2012 through 2017 and about 70% remain unused.

HSC currently provides another safe way to dispose of unneeded and expired drugs on campus.

A secure drop box is available to the public in The University of North Texas Health Science Center Police Department lobby, 3600 Mattison Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76107

It’s open 24/7.

The DEA also maintains an online search tool to help families locate safe drug disposal sites.