Woman Emptying Pills into Her Hand

Deterra resolves to reach 1 billion pills safely destroyed by 2023

Learn how organizations and individuals can help reach our goal to deactivate 1 billion unwanted medications by year’s end

By: Jason Sundby, Chairman and CEO, Verde Environmental Technologies, Inc. 

New Year’s resolutions have a terrible success rate: about 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions abandon them by the second week of February.

We plan to beat those odds, but we can’t do it alone. We need you to help us meet our goal of deactivating 1 billion unused and expired medications by 2023.

Why 1 billion? Well, near the end of 2020, we realized that enough Deterra® Drug Deactivation and Disposal System products had been purchased or requested to deactivate over half a billion medication dosage units (600 million to be exact). By December of 2021, we hit 800 million medications safely destroyed.

The need for safe, effective at-home drug deactivation and disposal resources increased nationwide as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to limit access to take-back sites and the country experienced a nearly 30% rise in drug overdose deaths.

Throughout the past year, we saw incredible work done by coalitions, nonprofits, law enforcement agencies and healthcare providers to increase awareness about the importance of proper drug disposal and get prevention resources into the hands of those who need them most.

This year, we want to supercharge our efforts to end the drug misuse crisis through proper drug disposal that is safe for homes, clinics, and the environment.

A year of challenges and progress

We know we’ll need a lot of help to deactivate millions of pills this year to meet our goal, but we’re encouraged by the many examples of organizations and individuals successfully using Deterra to expand the reach of their prevention efforts.

Inspiring examples include:

  • The University of Houston collaborating with coalitions, hospitals and other groups throughout Texas on a statewide, grant-funded at-home drug disposal program that distributed 110,745 Deterra Pouches in just 18 months.
  • Regional nonprofits like Connecticut’s Wheeler Clinic and Ohio’s Community for New Direction finding creative ways to get prevention tools to the public at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, food banks, and drive-through events.
  • Georgia high schooler Vinayak Menon creating a grassroots effort to educate his community about proper drug disposal and provide thousands of drug deactivation pouches with the goal of destroying one million leftover pills.
  • National nonprofit SAFE Project partnering with Athletico on Gone for Good® at-home medication disposal campaigns through which communities and households have requested 71,500 Deterra Pouches—enough to deactivate nearly 6.5 million pills.

These efforts have made an immense impact, and we need to continue that momentum throughout 2022.

groups handing out Deterra Pouches

Sheriff’s departments, healthcare providers, coalitions and individuals are making a difference by providing at-home drug deactivation and disposal solutions to help others safely dispose of unneeded medications.

How you can help end the opioid crisis

It’s going to take a nationwide, collaborative effort to end the opioid epidemic, but every one of us can take proactive steps to increase awareness and promote proper drug disposal.

Where should you start? Consider:

  • Include Deterra in your organization’s grant application. There are grants and funding opportunities available that can help you add at-home drug deactivation to your prevention program. Check out the Deterra Grant Guide for sample language and grant writing tips.
  • Make Deterra available at your pharmacy or clinic. Ask your doctor, dentist or pharmacist for Deterra by name; talk to them about the importance of making at-home drug deactivation products available with every opioid prescription.
  • Provide proper disposal resources to your employees as part of your employee benefits plan. The Deterra Benefits Workbook is a useful guide to implementing a workplace drug disposal program.
  • Include Deterra Pouches in overdose prevention kits.
  • Make drug deactivation pouches available at community events, take-back sites, and clinics.
  • Start a drug deactivation and disposal campaign on campus, in the workplace or in your community.
  • Model proper disposal at home by using Deterra to remove unused and expired medications from your medicine cabinet on a regular basis.

Join the effort to deactivate 1 billion pills

Preventing the misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs starts with education, safe storage and the prompt disposal of unused medications as soon as they are no longer needed.

We hope you’ll join us in reaching our ambitious 2022 goal. To make at-home drug deactivation part of your prevention efforts this year, visit shop.deterrasystem.com to purchase Deterra Pouches for personal use or contact our sales team to learn more about including Deterra products into your organization’s prevention program.


CEO Jason Sundby

About the Author

Jason Sundby is CEO of Verde Environmental Technologies Inc., maker of the Deterra® Drug Deactivation and Disposal System. The company is committed to developing research-based scientifically proven solutions to reduce drug abuse, misuse, and negative environmental impact. He has over 30 years of experience in operations, risk management, administration and IT leadership.

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