CEO Corner: Safe for the Holidays

Hosting holiday guests? Deactivating and disposing of unused medication should be at the top of your to-do list.

Holiday parties, gift exchanges, family dinners – getting together with the people I care about is my favorite part of the holiday season. As much as my wife and I enjoy hosting these events, the preparation can be exhausting. There’s always a long list of items to buy, clean, put into or take out of storage, and we usually forget something.

One thing we never forget when hosting holiday guests – especially overnight ones – is removing unused medications from around the house. Leftover drugs tend to collect in our bathroom cabinets and pile up on our kitchen counters throughout the year. Unfortunately, these prescription and over-the-counter drugs can pose a risk to our family and friends.

Nearly one in three Americans keep unused prescriptions in their homes, where these drugs are easily accessible to theft, misuse, or accidental ingestion by visitors. In fact, 62% of teenagers say they choose to abuse prescription drugs because they’re easy to get from parents’ medicine cabinets and 35% say they use prescriptions because they incorrectly believe prescriptions are “safer than illegal drugs.”

It’s not always obvious when someone is struggling with a substance use disorder, but more than half (50.8%) of those in their most recent episode of opioid prescription misuse received or took the drug from a friend or relative. Removing expired and unwanted drugs from your home helps prevent them from becoming a source of abuse or contributing to an overdose.

Young children can mistake medications for candy or toys, leading to accidental poisonings. Roughly 60,000 children are brought to the emergency room annually because they accessed drugs that were left within reach or not disposed of properly, according to the CDC.

There are several commonly cited reasons for failing to dispose of unused drugs, from being unsure of how to properly dispose of them to the inconvenience of driving to a drop-off site or collection event. At-home drug deactivation and disposal provides a convenient option that permanently destroys drugs and protects our water and soil from contamination.

Your family, friends, neighbors, and even your employees can benefit from having a safe, easy-to-use means of drug deactivation at home this holiday season. You can purchase Deterra® Pouches in packs of three in various sizes online or contact us for more information about making proper at-home drug disposal part of your workplace benefits offerings.


CEO Jason Sundby

Jason Sundby

Chairman & CEO of Verde Environmental Technologies, Inc.