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The war against opioid drugs has reached a fever pitch in the United States. According to a report from the CDC, more than 63,600 lives were lost to a drug overdose in 2016. Two-thirds of those deaths involved prescription painkillers. To help curb the opioid crisis in America, Walmart is offering a free opioid disposal kit that will allow people to dispose of unused opioid medications. The kit, called Dispose Rx, will be included with every new prescription that is filled at Walmart as well as their Sam’s Club pharmacies.

What is Dispose Rx?

Dispose Rx is an opioid disposal kit the features a powder that turns pills into a gel when activated with water. The gel is biodegradable, and the components of this drug disposal kit are safe and FDA-approved. The makers of this kit aim to reduce the risk of addiction and overdose. Additionally, its environmentally safe design eliminates water pollution due to unsafe drug disposal practices. The Dispose Rx drug disposal kit is easy to use. First, you would simply need to collect all unused or expired medications and ensuring that the container is no more than a third full. You would then add water so that the prescription vial is no more than two-thirds full.  You would then add the powder, screw on the safety cap, and shake for about 30 seconds. The resulting gel that forms which separates the drugs from abuse. The gel can be discarded in two ways. Because of the safety of the ingredients in the kit, it can simply be discarded in the trash. Unused medications can also be treated with the drug disposal kit, and they can be taken to a local drop-off location for disposal or incineration. This opioid disposal kit will work on any form of opioid drugs including powders, pills, tablets, capsules, liquids or patches.

A Proactive Step in Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

At Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies, The Dispose Rx kit will be given away to those filling a new Class II prescription. In addition to the kit, people will also be given an opioid safety information brochure. Walmart’s effort to help curb the opioid epidemic mirrors that actions that retail pharmacies have taken in the last couple of years. In September of 2016, retail pharmacy giant CVS (CVS) started selling Narcan and limited all opioid prescriptions to seven days. The following month, Walgreens locations nationwide also started stocking their pharmacies with Narcan. These proactive efforts aim to reduce opioid abuse in America. It is estimated that approximately 65% of people that abuse prescription opioids obtain them from family members or friends.

Ways You Can Safely Dispose of Opioid Prescriptions

When properly prescribed and used, prescription medications play an important role in treating many medical conditions. If there are leftover medications, it is very important to dispose of them properly to reduce the chance of misuse or overdose. In addition to specific opioid disposal kits, the following are ways you can help safely dispose of these medications:

Permanent Collection Sites

These sites are typically collection boxes which are placed outside of or in the lobby of a building. The most common locations for these boxes are at law enforcement offices. When looking for a drug collection site, they should be highly visible and have clear instructional signage. Additionally, these collection sites should be easily accessible during different times of the day.

Take Back Events

Another common way to dispose of unused medications is through community take-back events. These events are highly publicized and give the community a chance to bring unwanted drugs for proper and safe disposal. Usually, a participating organization will drop off temporary collection boxes for pickup. Law enforcement will be on hand to oversee the collection and will keep the drugs “in custody” until they are picked up by authorized personnel for disposal.

Mail-Back Programs

With these programs, pharmacies or reverse distributors can collect unused or unwanted medications through mail-in programs. Reverse distributors are defined as individuals who receive controlled and uncontrolled substances from DEA-approved personnel and return them to the manufacturer. These mail-back programs are tightly controlled. Operators of these programs must have an onsite incinerator or have other means of disposal that fall under DEA rules.

Disposal in Household Trash

If you don’t have access to an opioid destruction kit or there are no authorized collectors in your area, there is a way to safely dispose of medications in the trash. You can mix medicines (without crushing them) and mix with unpalatable substances like kitty litter, dirt or used coffee grounds. You then place this mixture in a sealed plastic bag and then throw in the household trash. You also want to properly dispose of any empty pill vials or containers. Be sure to scratch out any personal information contained on the label. Whether it is scratched out or blacked out, you want to be sure your personal information is unreadable before discarding in the trash. If you are unsure if a medication can be disposed of in the home, contact experienced medical personnel.

Are You or a Loved One Struggling with Opioid Abuse? Get Help Today!

Opioid abuse and overdoses continue to climb in the United States. Prescription medication overdoses accounted for nearly 43,000 deaths nationwide in 2016. When misused or intentionally abused, these powerful drugs can tear both individuals and families apart. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers, Call B-Hope toll-free today. Our experienced and compassionate staff has years of experience in successfully treating those addicted to opioids and other substances. Using traditional and holistic healing techniques, B-Hope can tailor your individual treatment plan to fit your needs. Our programs utilize the best traditional and holistic healing approaches. Our number one goal is to give you the tools and support you need to achieve lasting recovery. Don’t wait until tomorrow to get help; pick up the phone and call B-Hope right now.

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