Minneapolis-based Verde Environmental Technologies, Inc., is a privately owned company committed to developing scientifically proven solutions to reduce drug abuse, misuse and the negative environmental impact these concerns present.
The Deterra® Drug Deactivation and Disposal System is a safe medication disposal pouch or container that can be used at home or in a clinical setting.
Deterra products are exclusively endorsed by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Educational Foundation and are scientifically proven to be the safest, most effective way to destroy and dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications with the simple addition of tap water.
Deterra is the only product available today that is scientifically proven to destroy prescription and over-the-counter medicine, including addictive opioids. Deterra helps prevent diversion, misuse and abuse because the proprietary activated carbon used renders drugs inert and non-retrievable for all practical purposes. Its plant-based packaging and non-toxic ingredients prevent harmful chemicals from entering our landfills and water supplies, making the world safer for everyone.
Each patented Deterra Pouch contains a water-soluble inner pod containing proprietary activated carbon. Once the drugs are placed in the pouch, warm water is added, which dissolves the inner pod, releasing the activated carbon. Deterra works on pills, patches, liquids, creams and films allowing them to be adsorbed by the carbon, rendering them inert and non-retrievable for all practical purposes.
Read more about how Deterra works on our Science & Research page.
Public access to our marketing materials is available on our Materials for Public Use page.
Deterra is the pioneer for at-home drug disposal. Its propriety and patented technologies are supported by publicly available, third-party testing that proves it has enough activated carbon to permanently deactivate the amount of medication claimed on the label. Other carbon-based disposal products may not, leaving medications available for misuse and abuse. Additionally, some products suspend medications in a gel or other substance, which does not destroy the active ingredient, leaving it available for abuse, misuse and environmental contamination.
Not everyone has easy access to drop-off sites. Rural communities, for example, have high opioid use. According to research from the American Academy of Family Physicians, those in rural areas had an 87% higher chance of receiving an opioid prescription compared to those in metropolitan areas, but rural residents are located further away from take back locations. Accessibility aside, some simply won’t use drop-off sites. Research published in JAMA Surgery found that less than 15% of patients given education on drop-off sites disposed of their drugs in that manner.
Deterra complements alternative disposal methods, like drop-off sites or throwing medications in the trash by offering a safer disposal option.
Common, but ineffective, methods of medication disposal include household trash or flushing down the drain or toilet. These methods harm the environment and maintain the integrity of the active drugs. Medications are not completely destroyed if you use these temporary methods – abuse can still occur.
A JAMA Surgery study conducted at the University of Michigan found that of patients prescribed opioids following surgery, those given the Deterra® Drug Deactivation System for at-home disposal were 3.8 times more likely to dispose of left-over and un-needed medications than those who weren’t provided disposal education or support.
A JAMA Pediatrics study on drug disposal bags revealed that 32% more parents disposed of medications using the pouches than those who were instructed to follow FDA recommendations.
A Mayo Clinic study looked at the impact of educational intervention coupled with a reliable option for opioid disposal. The initiative resulted in a marked increase in the disposal of opioids after surgery, for a simple but effective approach designed to help alleviate the ongoing opioid epidemic in this country. The study concluded that prior to intervention, 52% of surgery patients did not dispose of their narcotics and after the education and disposal bags were given, this rate increased to 93.5%.
Additional studies can be found on our Science & Research page.
Statistics on the Opioid Crisis
- Between 2012 – 2018, approximately 1.55 billion opioid prescriptions were written.
- It has been estimated that up to 92% of post-surgical prescriptions go unused.
- Americans are prescribed approximately 4 billion drugs – yet approximately two-thirds of pills go unused.
- The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates the opioid crisis cost $696 billion in 2018 and more than $2.5 trillion over the four-year period from 2015 to 2018.
- Between 2016 and 2017, 11.4 million people misused prescription opioids.
- More than 60% of people with leftover prescription opioids kept pills for future use rather than disposing of them, with one in five reporting they share their medication with another person.
- The Government Accountability Office (GAO) drug misuse report found that national rates of drug misuse rose to 19% in 2018, nearly 1 in 5 Americans. They added drug misuse to their 2021 list of High Risks.
- Every day, 2,500 youth abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time.
- A National Safety Council and the University of Michigan study found that 1 in 20 adolescents ages 10 to 17 and 1 in 10 young adults ages 18 to 25 report prescription opioid misuse.
- Nearly 80% of heroin users used prescription opioids prior to heroin.
- Approximately 60,000 young children are brought to the emergency room each year because they accessed prescription or OTC medicines that were left within reach or not disposed of properly.
- 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2020, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data – a nearly 30 percent increase from 2019 and the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded. That’s 254 drug-related deaths every day in the U.S.
- Drug deaths have risen an average of 13 percent in the first half of 2020 over 2019, according to mortality data from local and state governments collected by The New York Times.
- In 2019, 12,068 deaths were caused by common prescription opioids.
- 2018 data shows that each day, 128 people in the United States died from an opioid overdose.
- A study published in 2017 found that 47 different pharmaceutical drugs were detected in source water samples, and 37 different pharmaceutical drugs were found in the water after moving through water treatment plants across the US.
- Deterra System is environmentally sound through the entire product life cycle. Deterra’s innovative plant-based pouch is produced using 100% wind-generated power and it contains non-toxic ingredients. Made from environmentally sound materials, Deterra is safer for the environment because our proprietary, organic activated carbon prevents harmful medications from contaminating landfills and water systems.1 Additionally, Deterra Pouches contain a smaller percentage of plastic when disposed of than competitor products.2
1 Based on the likelihood of extractable active medications available when used according to label instructions.
2 Compared to Deterra products, competitor products contain a higher percentage of plastic when disposed of: DisposeRx® 59%; NarcX® 78%; Rx Destroyer™ 68%; Drug Buster® 67%