SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - 6.2 Million Americans misuse controlled prescription drugs every year, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study also showed a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet, without their knowledge.
The Community Partnership of the Ozarks (CPO) is working to help stop the opioid epidemic through a new medication disposal system. Scott Allen, the Prevention Specialist with CPO, described the Deterra and DisposeRx powder packets as "state of the art." CPO recently received a donation of 2,500 DisposeRx packets from the AmerisourceBergen Foundation to assist in disposal efforts for medications that are expired or no longer needed.
DisposeRx is an easy to use powder. All people need to do is pour a packet into a prescription bottle and add warm water, filling the bottle about 2/3 of the way up. The powder will breakdown the medications and turn it into a gel, making it unusable. "What it does is it chemically, essentially, sequesters or separates those chemicals that are in the pill so that the pill is no longer in any sort of a usable form," explained Allen of the science behind the product. Deterra works similarly and both are biodegradable.
Scott Allen also said this is something every household should utilize because of the dangers surrounding idle medications. "80% of all people who, um, start using heroin got their start using prescription medications," said Allen. He also talked about how times are changing and parents need to do more than just keep medications out of sight. "It used to be that, you know, we said well just keep it in the medicine cabinet and everyone knows where it is, but young people are getting so sophisticated, so it's really important to keep those medications under lock and key."
The DisposeRx and Deterra medication disposal packets are available while supplies last at Community Partnership of the Ozarks for no cost. Those interested can contact a CPO Prevention Specialist at (417) 888-2020. Community Partnership of the Ozarks is located at 330 N. Jefferson St. in Springfield.
Allen lastly said they are expecting the next CPO drug take-back day to be in April. He said if people need more options for medication disposal, they can check with local pharmacies and police stations to see if they have a medication drop box.