Top 10 Ways to Distribute Deterra in Your Community
Tips for getting drug deactivation and disposal pouches into the hands of those who need them most
Creating a drug misuse prevention plan is a huge achievement – but organizations often struggle with how to execute their plans. Maybe they have prevention resources like the Deterra® Drug Deactivation and Disposal System on-hand but aren’t sure how to get them out into the community.
If this is the case for you, you’re not alone. It can be challenging to come up with the best ways to engage your community and get prevention tools into the right hands.
Many groups—including CADCA coalitions—have successfully distributed Deterra to raise awareness about the importance of proper drug disposal and provide a convenient at-home option.
How did they do it? Here are the top ten implementation tactics they used:
TOP 10 WAYS TO EXECUTE A SUCCESSFUL DRUG DEACTIVATION & DISPOSAL CAMPAIGN
1. MAIL DRUG DEACTIVATION AND DISPOSAL POUCHES TO LOCAL HOUSEHOLDS.
A bulk mailing of drug deactivation and disposal pouches is an impactful way to get these tools into the community and encourage households to clean out their medicine cabinets. Plus, it’s cost-effective: the cost of mailing is offset by significant savings on the administrative costs involved in other distribution strategies. Deterra offers bulk mailing services as well as educational postcards, labels and surveys that can be customized with your organization’s information through our Value Added Services.
2. DISTRIBUTE RESOURCES AT EVENTS.
Deterra is a perfect complement to take-back days and prevention events, but don’t limit yourself to just these. You can reach an even broader audience at events like:
- County fairs
- National Night Out get-togethers
- Food drives
- Naloxone trainings
- Community festivals
Hand out Deterra anywhere your organization has a presence. A great example is Wheeler Clinic in Connecticut, which includes Deterra in its Change the Script resource van that brings free prevention materials to events across the state.
Public safety agencies hand out Deterra Pouches at community events year round.
3. INCLUDE IN OVERDOSE PREVENTION KITS.
Putting together resource kits is a great way to get multiple tools into peoples’ hands. If your team is already distributing other prevention resources like naloxone or medication storage boxes, it’s easy to add a Deterra Pouch and information on proper drug disposal.
4. SEEK OUT PARTNERSHIPS.
Reach out to local groups who may want to distribute Deterra to the populations they serve. For example, the Summit County Community Partnership (SCCP) in Ohio has worked with senior centers, libraries, local businesses, schools, faith-based organizations, pharmacies and public safety agencies to distribute over 140,000 Deterra Pouches in a seven-county area. Check with your local CADCA coalition for insight on potential partners and distribution channels.
5. EXPAND YOUR OPTIONS.
Make Deterra available for pickup at your location and consider other ways for individuals to request a pouch. For instance, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota uses a form on its website for households to request a pouch be mailed to their home. Indiana’s 525 Foundation has launched a unique initiative to deliver Deterra via United Way’s Door Dash partnership Ride United: Last Mile Delivery.
6. EDUCATE YOUR STAFF.
Train your staff on the benefits of proper at-home disposal. Your staff members are your greatest advocates, so arm them with Deterra for personal use and to give to neighbors and friends who may have unwanted medications.
7. SPREAD THE WORD.
Let people know you have prevention resources available and how to get them.
Options to consider:
- Use social media, your newsletter and other communication channels to let people know you have at-home drug deactivation and disposal pouches available (tag @deterrasystem and we can help promote your posts).
- Consider hosting a webinar, workshop or Q&A session to engage your partners and/or community members around proper drug disposal.
- Connect with local media to help promote your efforts, like Community for New Direction (CND) in Ohio. CND partnered with the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance and ADAMH to create a segment for a regional TV series spotlighting the opioid epidemic.
Community for New Direction collaborated with ADAMH on a news segment to feature its Deterra distribution efforts in Ohio.
8. INVOLVE THE COMMUNITY.
You know the work your organization is doing to prevent drug misuse, but potential partners may not. Talk to your county executives, city council, local leaders, schools, hospitals and public health and public safety departments about medication misuse and offer to provide at-home drug deactivation and disposal resources for key initiatives.
9. CREATE RALLYING MOMENTS.
Amplify your distribution efforts around important moments, such as:
- National Public Health Week (April)
- National Prescription Drug Take Back Day (April & October)
- International Overdose Awareness Day (August)
For example, in observance of Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s largest and longest-running drug-use prevention campaign, Thomasville City Schools made Deterra and information about safe medication disposal available to thousands of families participating in the school’s Food Drive-Thru.
10. START OR EXPAND A DISPOSAL CAMPAIGN.
Consider creating an at-home drug deactivation and disposal campaign or making at-home disposal part of a larger prevention campaign. You can start your own, like Vinayak Menon, a Youth Sector Leader for the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council. Or model your efforts on the Minnesota Farm Bureau, which made Deterra distribution part of its larger Farm Town Strong campaign to tackle opioid misuse in rural communities. Don’t forget to check with your county, state, workplace, or college campus to see if Deterra fits into their prevention campaigns.
11. ASK FOR FEEDBACK.
Talk to your community about their needs – are your prevention activities meeting them? Where can you improve? Hosting an open house or forum is one way to solicit feedback. You can also create s simple survey, like the University of Houston has done to get statewide feedback on its Deterra distribution efforts. The team worked with Deterra to create a postcard with a three-question survey adhered to each Deterra Pouch. The survey can be completed on the postcard and mailed back, or individuals could scan the QR code to complete it electronically.
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.
Execute Your Proper Drug Disposal Plan
You know that at-home drug deactivation and disposal tools can help get more drugs out of your community, and now you have some effective ways to distribute them.
Funding is available for evidence-based prevention solutions like Deterra. Use our updated funding directory to find grants and funding options and download the Deterra Grant Guide for practical grant writing tips, sample language and evidence to support grant applications.
CADCA is here to help support your efforts. If you’d like to connect with your local CADCA coalition to help distribute Deterra in your area, visit the CADCA website to get in touch.
Learn more about how organizations nationwide use Deterra to make a difference in the fight against prescription drug misuse.
making a difference in new york state
NYSOFA and OASAS deliver 100,000 Deterra Drug Deactivation and Disposal Pouches to older adults in New York for safe, at-home medication disposal.
the success of the deterra project
Learn how Summit County Community Partnership joined with dozens of organizations to distribute over 140,000 Deterra Pouches.
WHERE TO FIND FUNDING for Drug Disposal
Learn about available funding opportunities to extend the reach of prevention efforts with an at-home drug deactivation and disposal campaign.