SANFORD, N.C., April 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- DisposeRx, a drug disposal company committed to eradicating the misuse of unused medications with its easy-to-use packets, is reminding consumers and healthcare professionals that the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA's) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday, April 27. Additionally, DisposeRx is getting the word out that combatting the nation's problems associated with the misuse of unused medications requires a multi-pronged solution to get leftover medications cleared out of American homes.
"In addition to the DEA's biannual take-back days, drug kiosks and options to mail back unused medications for later disposal, consumers have asked for an eco-friendly, at-home disposal option that's there whenever they need it and does not require driving somewhere with drugs in their car or waiting for earmarked drug disposal days each year," said John Holaday, Ph.D., chairman, founder and CEO of DisposeRx. "That's where DisposeRx comes in with our convenient, easy-to-use, site-of-use solution that anyone can use—365 days a year—to make prescription drugs unusable, unavailable and ready to be safely discarded in the household trash."
This year's DEA National Prescription Take-Back Day is the 17th such biannual event for the agency.
"DisposeRx encourages Americans to destroy unused drugs responsibly, whether you participate in national or local prescription take-back days, or use our DisposeRx at-home, site-of-use solution," Holaday said. "Doing so can prevent accidental child poisonings, misuse and abuse of drugs, such as opioids, and pollution that can occur from flushing drugs or sending them down the drain."
Unused and Expired Medications a Public Health Concern
Appropriate disposal of unused prescription medications is a growing concern as the country continues to face an epidemic of opioid diversion, abuse and addiction. A study of Americans who began abusing heroin between 2008 and 2010 found that nearly 83% reported their first opioid was a prescription drug. These drugs are often diverted from the prescribed patient. In fact, a 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 53% of respondents who misused prescription pain relievers in the past year either purchased, stole from or were given the drugs by a friend or family member, while only 37.5% were obtained from a healthcare provider.
Poisonings are also a major reason that unused drugs should be disposed of promptly. Accidental medication poisonings sent 52,000 children under age 6 to the emergency room in 2017, and while non-drug fatal child poisonings have decreased since 2000, fatal drug poisonings have increased by 10% during the same period. Similarly, more than 9,000 children every year are hospitalized due to these poisonings. The Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 legislated child-resistant packaging to reduce accidental poisonings and deaths, but 55% of accidental poisonings still involve such packaging almost 50 years later.
When presented with facts such as these, 65% of Americans are extremely or very concerned about leftover medications in the home, according to a survey conducted by Brightline Strategies and supported by DisposeRx. Well-meaning Americans may try to rid their homes of these risks by flushing medications down the toilet, but that, too, raises its own public health and environmental risks. A study of 50 wastewater treatment plants nationwide found 56 drugs in the water including oxycodone, high-blood pressure medications and over-the-counter drugs. Another study of 25 drinking-water treatment plants found that despite the rigorous filtering and cleaning process that occurs at the facilities, traces of drugs such as carbamazepine, bupropion, cotinine, metoprolol and lithium persisted in the water.
An Eco-friendly Solution
Fortunately, more than 72% of Americans believe there is a need for an eco-friendly and effective disposal process, according to the Brightline Strategies survey. Just as many survey participants responded that drug disposal kiosks at drug stores and take-back days alone are insufficient solutions.
DisposeRx packets contain a blend of materials that allow unused or expired medications to be disposed of at home, a skilled-nursing facility, hospice, hospital or anywhere. Individuals add DisposeRx powder and warm water to the prescription vial and shake for 10-30 seconds until pills can no longer be heard rattling in the bottle. During shaking, the drugs are chemically and physically sequestered in a viscous polymer gel made from materials FDA-approved for oral medications. As soon as the gel is formed, the entire vial can be thrown in the household trash.
Three independent studies concluded that DisposeRx was neither toxic nor hazardous to the environment or consumers. Another independent laboratory found that more than 90% of the medication remained trapped in the gel after 30 minutes of attempts to extract the drugs using methods that were more advanced than an average person seeking to misuse the contents.
About DisposeRx Packets
DisposeRx packets contain a blend of proprietary solidifying materials that provide an at-home, site-of-use solution for the neutralization and eco-friendly disposal of unused medications. When water and DisposeRx powder are added to drugs in a prescription vial and shaken, the drugs are chemically and physically sequestered in a viscous polymer gel. DisposeRx is made of materials that are FDA approved for oral medications. For more information and to order DisposeRx packets, please visit our website at: https://disposerx.com/
About DisposeRx, Inc.
Located in North Carolina, DisposeRx, Inc. is a drug disposal company with a mission to eradicate the misuse of unused medications through innovative at-home, site-of-use technology. The company is spearheading programs to educate consumers and communities about at-home, site-of-use medication disposal solutions to prevent drug addiction and poisonings, overdoses and deaths. DisposeRx's easy-to-use disposal solution empowers users to secure a healthier home by facilitating the efficient disposal of unwanted medications.
Mary P. Sundeen
Amendola Communications (for DisposeRx)