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Grant will provide new medication disposal methods in Morrison County


Morrison County residents will soon have another safe and easy way to get rid of unused and unwanted medications.

Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen and Little Falls Police Chief Greg Schirmers recently collaborated in securing a $100,000 Comprehensive Secure Responsible Drug Disposal grant through the Institute for Intergovernmental Research. Funding for the grant program was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The grant includes two drug disposal cabinets, one thru-wall cabinet, 87 cases of Deterra — a medication disposal system made for in-home use — and 93 multipurpose, Deterra 2.5 gallon containers for large-quantity disposal.

“Obviously, we’re assisting the community in properly disposing of unused and unwanted medications; and to help combat our substance abuse problems in our communities,” Larsen said.

Perhaps the most convenient of all the new products will be the Deterra pouches for in-home use. During the many public appearances local law enforcement agencies make throughout the year — such as at community events like the Morrison County Fair and drug takebacks — pouches will be made available, no questions asked. They will also be available at area law enforcement offices, free of charge.

Larsen said, in order to use the pouches, one only has to place up to 45 pills in the pouch and follow the directions.

“What happens is, there’s like a charcoal pod in there that you add water to, and it dissolves within minutes,” he said. “So, if people take this home and they put their pills in and they read the instructions and do everything they’re supposed to and then seal it, within a matter of minutes, the pills will be inert; the active ingredient is killed.”

An indicator on the pouch will let the user know when it is full. Once the medications have been deactivated, they can simply be disposed of in the trash.

Schirmers and Larsen were recently reminded of the need for convenient methods of prescription medication disposal. During a drug takeback event on April 24, local law enforcement collected 71 pounds of unused and unwanted medications in a four-hour timeframe.

“We do feel that this is something where — it’s not intrusive on the community, we’re up front, we’re going to be at a lot of public events to begin with, and now we’re going to be handing this out no questions asked to people who want them,” Larsen said.