New pill disposal pouch aimed to curb prescription drug abuse - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New pill disposal pouch aimed to curb prescription drug abuse

(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)

A new pouch to dispose of medication could help save lives in the fight against prescription drug abuse.

At a special meeting in Charleston, Missouri on Wednesday morning, Missouri House of Representatives Holly Rehder was honored for her ongoing efforts in fighting prescription drug abuse.

ACT Missouri, Charleston Charleston C2000 Coalition, FCC Behavioral Health and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals came together to highlight Rehder's commitment in sponsoring legislation to create a statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Missouri.

This program would provide health care providers timely data for the treatment of patients that would help prevent drug abuse.

Missouri is the only state without a PDMP at this time.

At the meeting, medical disposal system pouches were introduced and will give people the ability to dispose of their unwanted pills in their home.

These pouches help to get medication safely out of your house and out of the environment and out of harms way.

After opening the pouch, add the pills and water and then seal it. Shake it for 30 seconds and throw it all away.

According to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, approximately 202,000 Missourians report using pain reliever for non-medical reasons in the past year. About 23,000 Americans die annually from an overdose involving prescription drugs.

Rehder's fight against prescription drug abuse is something she has personally had to deal with most of her life and has seen the damaging effects from it.

"My sister was an addict. My cousin died at 39 of long term drug use," Rehder said. "My mother had mental illness and one of my
step fathers was a dealer. I know this issue face to face. I grew up in it and I understand what the kids are going through in those homes."

Rehder said these pouches, along with drug take back programs, are helping combat drug abuse and raise awareness, but it's not
enough. She said it's easy for people to become addicted by just taking one pill.

"When it comes to addiction, many times it only takes that one time, that one prescription, that one day of pills that makes you to where you can't say no anymore. You don't want to say no anymore. And then months later, you can't get out of bed without this," Rehder said.

If you have any unneeded medication, you can pick up your own pouch at the L&S Pharmacy or the C. F. Bowden Center in Charleston for free or click here for more information and locations.

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