“Our Opioid Task Force is using multipronged approaches to address the opioid issue,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “We continue to do the important work of helping people actively struggling with addiction, however, we also want to implement strategies focused on addiction prevention to reduce the likelihood of a person ever developing the disease. Since half of the people who misuse prescription drugs get them from a family member or friend, we want to make these medication disposal bags available to the public so that it is as easy as possible to safely eliminate that risk from homes.”
The Deterra® Drug Deactivation bags provide safe, convenient and permanent disposal of unused, expired or unwanted medications at home using organic-activated carbon to deactivate the drugs. The pouches are easy to use by simply adding water, and can then be disposed of in the trash.
The public can request the bags be mailed directly to their homes by completing a brief online request form on the Opioid Task Force website at: Medication Disposal Bag Request Form. Two bags will be allowed per household while supplies last.
The Oneida County Health Department will also be distributing the Deterra® Drug Deactivation bags at a drive-thru “Take Back” event being held in conjunction with the Center for Family Life and Recovery, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Union Station in Utica. More public distribution events will be announced in the coming months.
In 2020, the Opioid Task Force’s Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) captured 10 overdoses involving minors aged 18 and younger. That number increased by 150% in 2021, with 26 intentional and unintentional overdoses, the majority of which involved prescription drugs.
The Opioid Task Force’s Prevention Workgroup continues to raise awareness about the serious risks of keeping unused prescription opioids in the home and to provide information about safe disposal of these drugs. Unused opioids—such as hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone—are dangerous to have in the home when no longer needed. Children or pets can accidentally take unused opioids or visitors might search for them in drawers and medicine cabinets. Proper disposal of unused prescription opioids can save lives.