Drug Disposal Kits Aim to End Pharmaceutical Abuse Before it Becomes a Problem

Oct 11, 2016

Attorney General Mark Herring was in Roanoke today to announce the newest step in his plan to battle the growing heroin and prescription opioid crisis in the state.

Last year, over 1,000 Virginians died from a prescription opioid or heroin overdose. It’s a problem Attorney General Mark Herring says often has innocent origins.

“Something as simple as a sports injury or dental work can expose a person to prescription pain killers which can lead to a dependence and addiction; and when the pills run out, they do something they never thought they would do.”

That something is turning to heroin found on the streets.

Herring was in Roanoke this week to announce a new initiative aimed at helping stem that tide. Herring and his team recently obtained a donation of 80,000 disposal kits that allow for the disposal of unused and unneeded prescription drugs.

Credit Nick Gilmore / WVTF

They can safely dispose of 45 pills each and use charcoal to neutralize the drug. Derek Naten is with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, the provider of the kits.

“So essentially what you do is put your pharmaceuticals inside, fill it with warm water and leave it open for about 30 seconds. You seal it back up, and within a few hours the drug has been completely deactivated.”

Beginning November 1st, the kits will begin to be available to hospitals, pharmacies, law enforcement agencies, and non-profit organizations throughout the state to be distributed free of charge to those in need.