Safe Project’s at-home drug disposal initiative rids the U.S. of nearly one million leftover medications
In June 2020 the nonprofit will mail out 10,000 Deterra Drug Deactivation and Disposal pouches, more than doubling the campaign goals.
SAFE Project, a national nonprofit working to end the addiction epidemic, today released the results from the Gone for GoodTM at-home medication deactivation and disposal campaign. SAFE Project has enabled 10,000 U.S. households to safely and conveniently clean out their medicine cabinets by increasing access to effective at-home disposal options. The initiative aimed to break down barriers to safe disposal due to COVID-19, such as the postponement of DEA Drug Take Back Day, limited access to take-back sites due to stay-at-home orders, suspension of permanent drop box programs and the increase in opioid overdose risks due to isolation and unemployment.
During April and May 2020, SAFE Project partnered with Deterra System to distribute Deactivation and Disposal pouches at no cost. People across the country went online to request a free large Deterra pouch to be mailed to their home. As a result of the campaign, up to one million unused prescription or over-the-counter medications, including pills, creams, patches, liquids and films, will be destroyed permanently – eliminating one million opportunities for drug abuse, misuse, diversion and accidental poisoning.
“Safe medication disposal is the responsibility of every household, and it is a non-negotiable to have at-home solutions available, especially with the current pandemic and for those who do not have easy access to take back events or permanent drop box sites,” said Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, co-founder of SAFE Project. “Every day should be – and could be – drug take back day.”
U.S. Congressmembers Anne McLane Kuster and Brian Fitzpatrick, among others, are now calling on the DEA to compensate for the delay of Drug Take Back Day with an at-home disposal initiative. Gone for Good serves as an example of an at-home deactivation and disposal initiative that the DEA could offer in tandem with its regular biannual Drug Take Back Day programs.
“A National Bureau of Economic Research study demonstrates the importance of acting decisively during tough economic times, indicating that a 1% increase in a county’s unemployment led to a 3.6% increase in opioid death rate. This increase will also have dire consequences for our already strained public health and public safety resources, “wrote Kuster and Fitzpatrick in a May 22 letter to the DEA. “To ensure federal takeback efforts continue while Americans deal with COVID-19 and its economic fallout, we encourage the Administration to partner with stakeholders to distribute at-home drug deactivation and disposal kits this spring so that the risk of diversion does not increase unnecessarily.”
Sign up at DeterraSystem.com/SAFE to receive updates on the next Gone for Good campaign. Or, if your organization is interested in making a contribution to / sponsoring the next campaign, please email Jeff Horwitz, chief operating officer at SAFE Project: Jeff@SAFEProject.us.
About SAFE Project
SAFE (Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic) Project is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to overcoming the epidemic of addiction in the United States. Using a collaborative, multi-pronged and non-partisan approach, our key initiatives focus on SAFE Campuses, SAFE Communities, SAFE Veterans and SAFE Workplaces. They are fueled by SAFE Project’s six lines of operation: public awareness, full-spectrum prevention, prescriptions & medical response, law enforcement & criminal justice, treatment & recovery and family outreach & support. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from our volunteers, SAFE turns hope into action through transformative programs, training, and technical assistance. For more information, visit safeproject.us.
About Deterra and Verde Technologies, Inc.
Minneapolis based Verde® Environmental Technologies, Inc., is a privately owned company committed to developing research based scientifically proven solutions to reduce drug abuse, misuse and negative environmental impact. The patented Deterra® Drug Deactivation System is powered by proprietary ® Molecular Adsorption Technology, which deactivates drugs using activated carbon. Deterra is highly effective in adsorbing and firmly binding drugs, rendering them inert, unavailable for misuse and safe for the environment.
Jeff Horwitz, SAFE Project
Tori Norris, Maccabee PR on behalf of Deterra System