Category Archives: Prescription Drug & Medicine Disposal

say no to drugs

Quick Overview of the Opioid Crisis

On October 26, 2017, President Trump announced that his Administration was declaring the opioid crisis a national Public Health Emergency under federal law, effective immediately. “I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis,” the President said.

Declaring the Opioid Crisis a national Public Health Emergency legally authorizes federal, state, tribal, and local authorities to allocate existing personnel and resources toward opioid prevention efforts.

It also waives some key legal inhibitions, ramps up critical public health surveillance, and facilitates greater coordination across federal agencies. Mainly, these agencies and authorities are focusing on the developing the following three solutions:

Money.

 Innovation costs money. All the organizations and government, pharma, and medicine that are working to stem the flow of the opioid crisis need money to put their ideas into practice, so directing funds to all the people working to solve the opioid crisis is going to be a primary concern. Where exactly is the money going to be spent? Each agency has their own list of needs.

Some of the money is to be used for creating more access to addiction treatments, as many patients with opioid addictions simply cannot afford the detox and addiction treatments currently available.     

Another costly way to reduce opioid death is furnishing emergency personnel with naloxone, which is the primary treatment for opioid overdose. Naloxone is costly. The government can force Pharma to slash prices. We’re still working on that- it hasn’t happened yet.

Regulation-.

First of all, going after the bad guys who are importing opioids in an unregulated manner. To this end,  Trump signed the INTERDICT Act in January, 2018. This law directs the Department of Homeland Security to provide additional tools and resources to detect and intercept the supply of illicit fentanyl.

Trump spoke about handing out the Death Penalty to drug dealers.

He also is still emphatic about strengthening the wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which supplies a lot of the US’s illicit drugs.       

Regulation also includes the FDA’s efforts to create better guidelines, reporting systems, and a way to regulate the prescribed opioids in the U.S. Patients requiring certain medications containing opioids are already having a more difficult time getting their prescription refilled, and they are not happy. They are forming groups and creating petitions for medical opioids that will not interfere or limit the patient’s medical treatments.

Education.

 Many addictions start without the knowledge of the person developing the addiction, or without the knowledge of people around them that could have prevented or assisted with the addiction. Explaining the effects of drugs to teenagers is always appropriate.

Giving patients good information about their prescribed medication, and creating a list of alternative ways to treat, control and handle pain is another way to reduce opioid addiction numbers.

Proper disposal of opioids is a very big step toward decreasing the numbers of opioid addiction and death, and it is something everyone can do.

Follow us for more information on the latest innovations, solutions, and news about the opioid crisis.

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

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State Department will Crack Down on Opioid Import

Much of the efforts to fight the opioid crisis are directed to provide resources, support and education for opioid users or demographics at risk for becoming users (like teenagers.) The Department of State is putting in the effort to address one of the core issues of the opioid epidemic.

A critical piece to stopping opioid abuse is preventing illicit opioids from being available in the first place.

As prescribing opioids becomes a more discerning process, opioid addicts may first turn to alternate sources for the drug before seeking treatment for the addiciton itself. The U.S. Department of State is aiming to stop illicit opioids that are produced overseas from being trafficked into America.

The number of overdose cases that involved synthetic opioids (mostly fentanyl) increased by nearly 640% between 2012 and 2016. In 2016 alone, over 42,000 Americans overdosed on synthetic opioids.

Two milligrams of fentanyl can potentially be lethal.

Most of the fentanyl in the US is sourced from overseas, mostly from China. The majority of heroin in the US comes from Mexico.

These drugs enter the US in a variety of ways and routes. Some are crossing the border overland. Some are shipped in through online orders, slipping through the mail system.

 The State Departments’s INL Bureau is leading U.S. efforts to partner with foreign governments in an effort to reduce illicit drugs and precursor chemicals for cooking the drugs from entering the US.

The INL Bureau is developing a strategy to disrupt the synthetic drug supply chain, in all its new and improved forms, which currently pose a challenge to traditional counternarcotics approaches.

There are new trends in the way the drugs are moved that fostered an increase in heroin use. There have also been many instances of heroin (the natural opioid) being laced with synthetic opioids (like fentanyl), without the user’s knowledge. Fentanyl and other forms of synthetic opioids can be fifty to one hundred times stronger than heroin.

There has to be a new plan that can handle drugs that are produced in secret labs, then bought and sold online, maybe with bitcoin or other virtual currencies that can’t be traced in a traditional manner. Drugs are shipped globally directly to the buyer in small packages that are hard to track and hard to detect. What used to be a drug-trafficking network has turned frequently into a  micro-trafficking network.

The INL Bureau is creating a number of new initiatives to keep up with the dynamic opioid threat in a better fashion. These include:

*Expanding the capacity to globally share and pick up advance electronic data about international mail parcels headed for the United States.

*More support for early warning and global information sharing systems

*Expanding technical assistance for the fine people who develop new ways to detect illicit substances and are working on forensics and cyber investigation

*Spreading education and U.S. expertise with foreign jurisdictions regarding the prevention, treatment ,and recovery programs for drug users.

This will help decrease the demand for the drugs in foreign jurisdictions as well.

Everyone is going to have to work together to meet the challenges posed by the entry of illicit opioids into the United States, including foreign governments, law enforcement agencies, and even the private sector. The State Department is working on advancing cooperation so that the flow of opioids can be stemmed and more lives can be saved.

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

stop drugs word collage

Use the Deterra Pouch to Safely Dispose of Opioids.

The Deterra Drug Deactivation System is a simple, convenient, and cost-effective way to dispose of unused or expired drugs at home.

At-home drug disposal with the patented Deterra® Drug Deactivation System is the simplest and most effective way to keep drugs out of our lakes, rivers streams and drinking water.

It’s also a cost-effective and simple way to keep drugs away from children and other household members.

Every day, 2,500 kids begin abusing a prescription medication. One-third of people aged 12 and over began using drugs for the first time by using a prescription drug for non-medical purposes.

The patented Deterra® System is powered by proprietary MAT12® Molecular Adsorption Technology.

In a scientifically proven, simple 3-step process, the Deterra pouch can render drugs inert, preventing their misuse.

As a bonus, the Deterra patented technology protects the environment from the effects of non-inert drugs that can still have active compounds that leech into the ground or water.

It’s a simple pouch. Each patented Deterra pouch contains a water-soluble inner pod that contains a unique form of activated carbon Activated Carbon has been found to effectively bind to a wide variety of drugs and poisons with a few notable exceptions (e.g. iron, lithium, and potassium).

You put the unwanted pills, liquids or patches in the pouch and add warm water, which dissolves the inner pod and releases the activated carbon.

The pills, patches, or liquids are absorbed by the carbon. You seal the pouch and throw it into your regular household garbage can. The pills, liquids or patches are inert and non-retrievable.

The Deterra pouch is made of environmentally sound materials. The plastic pouch and zipper will degrade through the use of organic additives that will be consumed in landfills by microbes typically found there. The end result will be a release of water and carbon dioxide into the environment. There will be very little organic biomass left behind.

The Deterra pouch will deactivate any organic medications including opioids.

However, it will not adsorb metals such as Iron or lithium, which are contained in a small number of medications.

If your medication has specific disposal instructions, please follow the directions as given.

Deterra is available in multiple sizes and recommended capacity is listed on each pouch or container.

Frequently Asked Questions about Deterra Pouches.

A product demonstration is available on Youtube. Deterra also has a facebook page for updates and helpful articles about their products.

You can purchase Deterra Drug Deactivation System pouches on Amazon.

Drug distributor AmerisourceBergen‘s runs a charity that gives resources for drug disposal  to communitie sthat apply for them. The products they donate include DisposeRx packets and Deterra bags. So far, the foundation has donated 55,000 of these products.

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts started sending Deterra Pouches to members who have opioid prescriptions so they can discard any leftovers.

We will probably be seeing more innovative solutions for the opioid crisis in the near future and will continue to report as new information comes up.

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We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stop drugs word collage

Walgreens and CVS Install Drug Take Back Kiosks.

The United States is in the middle of an opioid epidemic.

Every day, 134 people die of opiate-related overdoses.

So many people are overdosing from heroin and synthetic opioids that the U.S. life expectancy shortened two years in a row. In the first advisory form a Surgeon General since 2005, the Surgeon General urges more people to carry naloxone, an opioid antidote.

The Federal government’s research shows that a large driver of the epidemic is perscription drug abuse. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from friends and family, often coming straight out of the medicine cabinet.

Proper disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs is an effective way to improve the opioid crisis.

Some people are not able to get to the DEA’s drug take back locations.

CVS and Walgreens are implementing another way to help customers dispose of their leftover prescription drugs.

Up until 2014, pharmacies weren’t allowed to take back prescriptions. People could only dispose of drugs in police departments- and for obvious reasons, not everyone was comfortable with that.

In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued new regulations due to the growing opioid problem that expanded the ways to safely return and dispose of prescription drugs.

In 2016, Walgreens began adding drug disposal kiosks in its chain stores.

Walgreens now has 600 drug disposal kiosks and has collected more than 270 tons of medications so far. It is partnering with AmerisourceBergen, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics to add kiosks to another 900 locations.

The kiosks for drug returns and disposal look kind of like a mail box.

Consumers simply drop the unwanted medication into the slot and the drugs get picked up by a medical waste company as the kiosk fills up.

Rick Gates, Walgreens‘ senior vice president of pharmacy operations, who was involved in the kiosk idea since its inception, says that initially the medical waste company planned on emptying the kiosks once a month, but they were filling up so quickly they had to clear them once a week or once every other week.

CVS Health is in the process of installing 750 kiosks in various chain stores. It’s already donated more than 800 units to police departments.

So far, CVS has collected nearly 158 metric tons of medications from drug take back kiosks.

It sounds simple to install a kiosk, but complying with drug disposal regulations is complicated. Each unit takes time and planning to make sure it is up to regulation standard. Some of the requirements are that the kiosk be bolted to the floor (so nobody can just make off with it). The kiosk has to be locked at all times to prevent abuse of the drugs dropped off in it, and the medical waste disposal company has to be up to the DEA’s protocols as well.

Drug disposal kiosks in pharmacies are not yet available everywhere.

There are other companies working on other options for Household Waste Disposal, besides for the good work being done by the Walgreen’s, CVS, the DEA’s National perscription drug take back day and police stations and fire houses. For example, Google put out a locator tool for drug take back locations that works by zip code. We will keep reporting about various household waste disposal options that will be offered by Walgreens, CVS, and other companies all working hard to come up with practical solutions for consumers.

We will continue to add updates about the opioid crisis and new solutions. It is time that we all did our little part to help save lives and reduce opioid addiction.

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We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

a sign declaring the national prescription drug take back day

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Is This Saturday, Oct. 27th of 2018!

This Saturday, Oct. 27th of 2018, the DEA has organized a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day throughout the entire Country. This is one way of helping to deal with the opioid crisis that has been declared a national crisis recently.

MedWaste Management will provide continued coverage of take back event as well as other efforts being made to help with our opioid crisis.

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

As President Trump signed legislation providing resources to help end our opioid crisis, representatives of companies pledging to help stood behind.

You can watch footage of the President with others discussing our opioid crisis and about the things that our Country is doing to stop it, including prescription drug take back events, and more responsible doctor prescribing.

Behind him stood representatives of companies pledging to help with the crisis. Representatives from Google, Walgreens and CVS were there, among others, promoting tools to help dispose of prescription drugs safely and securely. (22.00 minutes into the video)

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

Household Hazardous Waste Sign

Drug Take Back And Sharps Collection Day In Napa County

Drug Take Back And Sharps Collection Day In Napa County – Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 10am to 2pm, at numerous Napa County locations.

The Police Departments and Sherriff’s offices in Napa County, along with Kaiser Permanente and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will host unused medication and sharps (used syringes and needles) collection events on Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 10am – 2pm, at numerous locations around Napa County.

Residents in the area are encouraged to bring their unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications to one of six collection locations throughout Napa County. It is recommended that any personal information on medication containers be removed or blacked out before dropping off. Additionally, these one-day collection sites can legally accept federally-designated “controlled” substances that include many highly addictive prescription medications such as morphine and OxyContin, as well as illegal narcotics such as LSD and ecstasy.

Home generated medical sharps (needles, syringes, epinephrine auto-injectors, etc.) will be accepted for disposal at all of the October 27th sites as well. State law prohibits the disposal of home generated sharps in trash or recycling containers. Improper disposal of home generated sharps is a health and safety threat to children, home health care providers, trash & recycling workers, and pets through accidental needle stick injuries. Sharps that are not disposed of properly can also end up on beaches and riverbanks, waterways, parks and more. Ideally, sharps should only be transported in an approved container obtained from a physician or pharmacy. A tightly sealed, leak- and puncture-resistant container with a lid, such as a bleach bottle, coffee can, or other similar container, is an acceptable alternative for transportation of sharps to the event. These containers should be labeled as “sharps.”

These collection sites accept sharps and unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications, and “controlled” substances that include many highly addictive legal and illegal drugs.

“Many people don’t realize that flushing medications down the toilet or putting them down the drain can lead to water pollution and harmful effects on aquatic life,” said Stephanie Turnipseed, Pollution Prevention and Outreach Coordinator with the Napa Sanitation District. “Medication can pass right through the wastewater treatment process and enter our waterways, so the best thing to do is to bring your medicines to a take-back event or one of the year-round drop-off locations for safe disposal.”

In addition to the environmental impact of improperly disposed medications, prescription and over-the-counter drugs that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

This service is free and anonymous.

October 27th Medication And Sharps Collection Event Sites:

American Canyon Police Department

Address911 Donaldson Way E, American Canyon, CA 94503

Napa County Sheriff’s Office

Address1535 Airport Blvd, Napa, CA 94558

Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices – East Parking Lot

Address3285 Claremont Way, Napa, CA 94558

 

Yountville Police Department

Address1950 Mulberry St, Yountville, CA 94599

St. Helena Police Department

Address1480 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574

 

Calistoga Police Department

Address1234 Washington St, Calistoga, CA 94515

Can’t make the collection event on October 27th?

Those unable to take items to the event can dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals (uncontrolled substances only) and home generated sharps year-round at the Napa-Vallejo Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at 889A Devlin Road, next to the Transfer Station in American Canyon. The facility is open every Friday and Saturday from 9am to 4pm.

For “uncontrolled” substances and sharps, there are several local year-round opportunities for safe and legal disposal, which can be found online at www.naparecycling.com/medicine.

Mail back services are available for your home generated sharps. Additional year-round options for residential medical sharps can be found online at www.naparecycling.com/medical-sharps-disposal or call the Napa County Department of Public Works for more sharps disposal information at 707-253-4094.

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California