Why Local And Safe Drug Disposal Is Important In Rural Communities

November 17, 2022 | Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

Why Local And Safe Drug Disposal Is Important In Rural Communities

Are you looking for ways to protect your community from the increasing dangers of opioid and prescription drug abuse? Whether you’re a municipal leader, an elected official, a healthcare professional or a first responder in a rural community, there are ways you can help.

Most of us have seen the headlines over the past few years regarding the toll the opioid epidemic has taken on rural communities in the US. In the last 20 years, rural communities have seen a staggering increase in drug overdose deaths. In 1999, the rate was 4.0 per 100,000 according to the National Vital Statistics System. By 2019 that rate skyrocketed to 19.6 deaths per 100,000. In those same years states such as California, Connecticut, North Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia saw rural counties experience more drug overdose deaths than their urban counterparts.

Pharmaceutical drugs are lifesaving and essential, but they can also be deadly in the wrong hands. Prescription drugs, when they find their way into illegal markets, fuel further addiction and destruction to your community. Whether consciously or through an innocent mistake, the problem of prescription drugs getting into the wrong hands has become a serious community issue.

Did you know that the majority of people who use opioid medications for non-medical purposes access these medications from friends or family members? This shows how easy it is for prescription drugs to contribute to the opioid epidemic. There is an increasing need on the local-level in rural communities for the safe disposal of drugs. Here we’ll explain how a safe and convenient method of drug disposal is attainable for even the smallest rural communities in the U.S.

The Importance of Safe Drug Disposal

Drugs that go through the manufacturing process are sometimes not used. There are numerous scenarios where prescription drugs are no longer necessary and need to be safely disposed of, including:

  • The patient has passed away.
  • The patient no longer needs the medication. This is particularly true for pain medication when an injury heals.
  • The prescriptions were left behind after a move by a former homeowner or tenant.
  • The prescription has expired or was improperly stored and is no longer safe for consumption.
  • The medications were found on a patient or a suspect during an arrest or emergency call and have been confiscated.

These are just a few of the reasons medications are no longer needed by the patient they were prescribed for. There are countless scenarios however, which is why a safe and convenient disposal solution is so important for rural communities.

Where is Proper Drug Disposal Needed

Both first responders and members of the general public benefit from access to a safe and easy drug disposal site. A good rule of thumb when attempting to designate where a drug disposal site should be is to follow a simple rule. If a location stocks Narcan, the opioid overdose medication and maintains a defibrillator, it’s a good location for a drug disposal kit.

Although drug take backs allow community members to dispose of old and unwanted medication, living in a rural community presents the challenge of getting to take back sites. Many rural communities do not offer public transportation.

The RX Destroyer drug disposal starter kit is a cost-effective way to denature any drugs that come into a location. A police station can use this kit when pills are confiscated. At the same time, local residents can come in and easily dispose of medications they no longer have a need for. Both scenarios keep potentially dangerous or addictive medications from being stored and further their chances of being used illegally.

Instant Drug Denaturing is Possible

Whether you’re a police officer, firefighter or medical professional, or at-home user, you want a simple, easy way to deactivate medications. It needs to be easy to use, quick, efficient with a cost that fits your organization’s budget. The RX Destroyer offers many benefits:

  • No need for added water.
  • No batteries or electric hook-up needed.
  • Helps protect the environment and water system by keeping non-toxic medications from being flushed down toilets.
  • Child resistant cap.

RX Destroyer uses a patented solution that is quick and effective. All you need to do is simply load the  unwanted medications into the supplied bottle. Just a gentle shake mixes the solution with the medications, disabling any of the medications effects and rendering them useless. As a non DEA registrant, you can simply discard the bottle with its content into the general trash. Just remember to always follow your facility, local, state and federal regulations regarding general trash disposal.

Different Types of Drugs That Require Safe Disposal

Some drugs are more dangerous than others in the market. And they’re the ones that require the most attention and have to be disposed of safely. And what are these drugs?

  • Buprenorphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Morphine
  • Oxymorphone
  • Tapentadol

However, with RX Destroyer, you don’t need to worry about medication identification. Both solid and liquid medications, no matter how dangerous, how addictive or benign can be placed in the RX Destroyer bottles and denatured all in the same manner. No matter how strong or potent the medications are going into the bottle, they will all be denatured and made useless, ready to throw away with regular trash.

What Are The Benefits of Local Drug Disposal For Individuals

Let’s look at how the safe disposal of drugs can benefit individuals.

  • Helps prevent addiction

Addiction problems can begin with a single pill lying around in a cupboard. Therefore, it is crucial to encourage residents to get rid of any unused medications that are just lying around.

  • Reduces the rate of overdoses

According to the CDC Injury Center, up to 100,000 deaths in the US are due to drug overdoses. By taking steps to keep potentially dangerous drugs out of the hands of your residents, you could literally save a life.

  • Ensures the drugs don’t end up in the wrong hands

Without a quick and easy drug disposal method in businesses and organizations, drugs can sit for days or weeks waiting to be processed. This increases a location’s liability and the chance that those drugs will be taken and used illicitly. That’s why RX Destroyer is designed to be simple to use, so it can be used quickly to get drugs denatured and rendered harmless in an instant.

Ways to Create Safe Local Drug Disposal Services in Your Town
  • At Home Disposal

Rx Destroyer 4 oz or 16 oz can be purchased for at home use. This bottle can easily fit in a medicine cabinet or drawer and comes with a child resistant cap.  You can continue to use until full and dispose of in your common trash.

  • Collection Events

Small towns can organize drug collection events to encourage residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and other places where unused prescriptions might be lingering. This can be timed with a community event like a fair or holiday event. The National Night Out is also a great time to offer medication collection. Just be sure to publicize the collection service in the weeks before the event so residents have time to do a sweep of their homes.

  • Community Disposal Sites

Participating in your local Drug Take Back Day by using community disposal sites such as a fire station, local pharmacy, or police station, can help prevent medications from falling into the wrong hands. It provides an easy way for these locations to quickly denature drug medications.

The Takeaway

Rural communities face many challenges when it comes to addiction, particularly in the form of prescription drug abuse. Although there are many complex parts to this problem, a simple, low-cost drug disposal like RX Destroyer makes drug disposal easily accessible. By providing greater access to medication disposal at home and in medical, municipal and first responder environments, rural communities can keep their residents safer. As part of the steps to help curb prescription drug abuse, RX Destroyer provides a simple, low-cost solution to help rural communities.