FAQ

At-home drug disposal with the patented Deterra® Drug Deactivation System is the simplest and most effective way to keep drugs out of our lakes, rivers streams and drinking water.  Deterra is scientifically proven and powered by proprietary MAT12 Molecular Adsorption Technology. In a simple 3-step process, a user can deactivate drugs, rendering them inert, unavailable for misuse and safe to the environment.

Each patented Deterra pouch contains a water-soluble inner pod containing proprietary MAT12® activated carbon. Once the drugs are placed in the pouch, warm water is then added, which dissolves the inner pod releasing the activated carbon.  Deterra works on pills, patches and liquids, allowing them to be adsorbed by the carbon, rendering them inert and non-retrievable, meaning that it cannot be transformed to a physical or chemical condition or state as a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue.

Deterra will deactivate any organic medications including opioids. However, it will not adsorb any metals such as Iron or lithium contained in a small number of medications. If your medication has specific disposal instructions, please follow the directions as given.

Water treatment facilities struggle to filter out all pharmaceutical drugs from the water. As of 2014, there were over 1,500 published reports of the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in sewage, surface waters, ground waters, and elsewhere.  Because of these findings, most federal, state and local authorities are now recommending (and many requiring) that pharmaceuticals NOT be disposed in the toilet or sink.

Cat litter, coffee grounds, and sawdust may make the drug undesirable but do not deactivate the drugs. Once in the landfill, these drugs may potentially leach into the ground and into the water. Third party testing proves that the proprietary MAT12   carbon in Deterra deactivates the drugs rendering them inert and safe for the environment.

With Deterra, the process of deactivation starts immediately, but it takes time to complete. Some highly soluble drugs will dissolve and adsorb rapidly, while other less soluble drug types will take longer to dissolve and adsorb. The deactivation period varies based on volume and type of medication. As an additional safety precaution, it is important to keep Deterra out of the reach of children and pets as the medication is deactivated.

Yes, Deterra is available in multiple sizes. Visit DeterraSystem.com/products  or contact a Deterra representative at 612-568-1128 to determine which size will best meet your needs.

The recommended capacity varies by size and is listed on each Deterra pouch or container. Adding drugs to Deterra in amounts at (or less than) our recommended capacity will result in optimal deactivation efficiency. If one were to add slightly more than the recommended pharmaceutical capacity, deactivation of additional drugs will still occur but at reduced efficiency. Please always follow the directions on the back of the Deterra Drug Deactivation System.

The water-soluble pod located inside the pouch will not open and expose the carbon to the medication. Warm water will also help to dissolve pills and draw the drugs out of patches. The absence of water will not allow the deactivation process to begin. Please always follow the directions on the back of the Deterra Drug Deactivation System.

The granular activated carbon used in Deterra is non-corrosive to skin and eyes.  The carbon is considered non-flammable and stable under normal conditions for shipment, storage and use. There are no known harmful effects associated with ingestion of carbon used in Deterra. It is considered non-toxic.

SDS Exemption Letter

Based on testing, back extraction of the deactivated drugs is not effective. When used properly, the activated carbon will retain the drugs, rendering the contents of the Deterra Drug Deactivation System inert, unavailable for misuse and safe for the environment.

The Deterra pouch is made from environmentally sound materials.  This allows for the degradation of the plastic pouch and zipper through the use of organic additives that are consumed by microbes found in landfills. The result is the release of water and carbon dioxide, with little organic biomass left behind. This greatly reduces the amount of material left in landfills. The result is the release of the water and carbon dioxide, with little organic biomass left behind. This greatly reduces the amount of material left in landfills. The incineration process releases smog inducing gases, ozone depleting agents, carcinogenic compounds, and other by-products that can cause negative effects on the environment.

Government agencies do not endorse specific products. However, according to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis “…The Commission encourages more hospitals/clinics and retail pharmacies to become year-round authorized collectors and explore the use of drug deactivation bags…In addition, the Federal Government supported the development of drug deactivation bags to allow safe disposal of old prescription opioids.”

At-home drug disposal is generally unregulated by federal, state or local authorities. Customers using Deterra in an institution should follow all federal, state and local regulations. We have found state and local authorities to be very helpful, and they can usually be conveniently contacted for questions.

According to the DEA, any destruction method applied to a controlled substance must render it “non-retrievable” and subsequently unavailable, unusable, and no longer available for diversion for all practical purposes. Testing results have shown Deterra to meet these standards. Ultimately, it is up to the individual waste generator to ensure that they comply with all local, state and federal regulations.

What sets Deterra apart from our competitors, is that our product PERMANENTLY DEACTIVATES the drug rendering it unavailable for abuse or diversion, where as other at-home disposal products may sequester the drug which temporarily restricts access – leaving the drug in an abusable form.