CEO Corner: Two Crises, One Solution

Drug deactivation and disposal can help end the opioid crisis and preserve the environment

Next week is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pollution Prevention Week (Sept. 20-26), an annual observance aimed at recognizing industry and individual efforts to reduce sources of pollution and prevent damage to the environment. It comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that emphasizes the need for environmental protection to reduce the impact of pollution on our climate.

As with the ongoing overdose epidemic, which has claimed an unprecedented number of lives over the last year, it’s hard to know where to start with an issue as big as pollution prevention, especially at the individual level.

As a Minnesota-based company, we take a lot of pride in our lakes. In a new study, researchers found 117 chemicals — including antibiotics, hormones, antidepressants, cancer drugs, and cocaine — in lakes in and around the Grand Portage Indian Reservation in northeastern Minnesota.

Native Americans are disproportionately impacted by opioid misuse and overdose fatalities, and now the natural resources that Indigenous communities rely on are being negatively impacted by improperly disposed of medications.

While there’s no simple solution to these complex problems, there are concrete steps we can take in our everyday lives to help prevent unused medications from being misused and ending up in our waterways.

Raising awareness about the importance of rendering unwanted drugs safe for the environment and increasing access to at-home resources like the Deterra® Drug Deactivation and Disposal System are critical to prevent medication misuse before it starts. Though it’s important to get rid of leftover drugs as soon as they are no longer needed, common disposal methods such as flushing or tossing in the trash leave medications intact as they enter our landfills and water systems.

Using Deterra to deactivate medications both ensures that the active ingredients are safely destroyed and that potentially harmful drugs don’t contaminate our water or soil.

We don’t have time to waste; now is the time to clean out your medicine cabinet. Contact us today to learn more and order Deterra to help protect our communities and environment.


CEO Jason Sundby

Jason Sundby

Chairman & CEO of Verde Environmental Technologies, Inc.