CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Citizens around the state will now have a new way to properly dispose of unused medications.

West Virginia Prevention First launched a Medication Disposal Campaign on Tuesday that includes thousands of Deterra Drug Deactivation Pouches going across the state through a federal grant.

West Virginia Prevention First partnered with WVDHHR Bureau for Behavioral Health, Kanawha County Communities that Care, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), and Verde Environmental Technologies, Inc. for the announcement on Tuesday.

“If we can get unused and unwanted opioids and medication out of people’s medicine chest, the potential for abuse and diversion is removed,” Jason Sundby, the Chairman, and CEO of Verde Technologies said.

Sundby spoke at the event Tuesday held at the Lippert Terrace in the Kanawha City section of Charleston. He even put on a demonstration of the Deterra pouches, the at-home drug deactivation and disposal system.

Inside the pouch is activated carbon in a water-soluble pod.

“You add pills, patches, liquids, it really works on any foreign factor and any organic compound. You fill it halfway full with warm tap water, it opens up the pod, dissolves the pills and you leave it open for 30 seconds for the air to come out of the carbon. It’s very porous. You zip it closed, shake it a couple of times and throw it in the household trash,” Sundby said.

Sundby said once the medication is dissolved, it’s gone forever.

“Through the process of absorption, the molecule of the drug is bound on to the carbon. That bond can’t be broken so it’s irretrievable and it won’t reach out to groundwater.”

Sundby said the focus of this way of proper disposal is for seniors who have medications but do not have access to a local drug drop box.

He said this can prevent the “prescription confusion” of the elderly, that may be fatal.

“Prescriptions change quite a bit over time,” Sundby said. “By getting old prescriptions away, they aren’t confused with the new prescriptions.”

Greg Puckett, the Regional Prevention Coordinator at Community Connections led the event that including speakers from U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s office and representatives from the Kanawha County Communities That Care, the WV DHHR and CADCA.

Help & Hope WV gave three ways to properly dispose of medication in the state now: DropBox in a local area, National Drug Take-Back Day or the Deterra pouches.

To learn more about the pouches and ways to dispose, visit helpandhopewv.org.

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