Free pouches will deactivate opioids


All 10 Discount Drug Mart locations in Lorain County are now offering free pouches that can deactivate opioid medications and prevent them from being misused.

It sounds like magic and we were skeptical until researching how such bags work — they use activated carbon in water to render painkillers ineffective.

For patients using opioid prescriptions, the tamper-evident locking bags may be a useful resource to help in the safer storage of medication, said Drug Mart corporate counsel and director of pharmacy compliance, Joseph Muha.

Through a partnership with the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County, the pouches are available by request at pharmacy desks of Drug Mart, which has stores in our home coverage areas of Amherst, Oberlin, and Wellington.

“Disposing of unused opiates as soon as they are no longer needed is a key to preventing opiate use disorder, overdoses, and fatalities” said Elaine Georgas, director of ADAS.

“Unused medications, especially opioids, should not be left in medicine cabinets where they could be at risk of misuse or diversion. We are proud to partner with Discount Drug Mart and take steps that protect the community,” she said.

The drug disposal pouches were donated by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and the locking medicine bag was supported through a grant to ADAS.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescriptions and often obtained them from family and friends.

In-home medicine cabinets are often the source of diverted prescriptions, making it critical for patients to properly dispose of unused prescriptions in a timely manner.

In 2018, there were 69 overdose deaths in Lorain County, according to the coroner’s office.